The article analyzes the structure of and the functions in an 18th century seamen crew treated as an isolated microcosm. Moreover, it tries to answer the question: to what extent does it fit the Erving Goffman's model of the 'total institution'. The analysis is based on three diaries written during the Cook's first journey around the globe: the journey diaries of Joseph Banks and Sidney Parkinson, and the ship's log written by the Captain (all three written by considerably educated and well-off gentlemen far away from the crew's below decks). The specific character of the Cook's journey allows of the treating the crew as a temporarily completely isolated unit. The article is focused on three aspects of everyday life: a) -The ranges and the hierarchy of respect: in case of Cook's journey the strict social barriers were, though not completely abolished, somehow loosened due to hard conditions, almost complete temporary isolation from the European world and the personality of Cook himself. However there still existed a great gap between the world of the officers and gentlemen and the one of the crew. b) -The law and economic order: in theory the rules were very strict, but they were stretched quite often due to extremely harsh conditions of the cruise. The officers - crew gap was extremely perceptible considering the economic situation; however the property was not always secured enough. c) -The division of the time on the time of the work, leisure and boredom, feast and danger: the activities of the crew were almost completely regulated from above. The structure of the 18th century crew in all above mentioned aspects fitted only partially to the Goffman's interpretation schemata. It had to be much more flexible in order to face up the difficulties of the journey.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.