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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32700

Title: Against the Medicalization of Humanity: A Critical Ethnography of a Community Trying to Build a World Free of Sanism and Psychiatric Oppression
Authors: Diamond, Shaindl Lin
Advisor: Burstow, Bonnie
Department: Adult Education and Counselling Psychology
Keywords: community organizing
psychology
psychiatric survivor
Issue Date: 21-Aug-2012
Abstract: We have to stop inventing disorders for every human experience that challenges the status quo… I dream of a world where people can peacefully co-exist… [where] differences are accepted… [and where] I, and everybody else, has a place (Jackie, psychiatric survivor and mad person). The thesis is a critical ethnography of a political community in Toronto, Canada whose members are challenging the theories and interventions of biological psychiatry and developing approaches to understanding and responding to human experience in alternative ways that empower people who are conceived of as “mad”. Based on the emerging ideological and practical differences among participants, a model of the community was developed that includes three main constituencies: the psychiatric survivor constituency, the mad constituency, and the antipsychiatry constituency. This thesis includes descriptive accounts of the philosophical understandings, priorities, goals, actions, and strategies emerging from each of these constituencies; some tensions and conflicts that arise in the community around working across difference; the genuine attempts made by community members to build alliances, the challenges they face, and the notable progress they have made. The thesis grapples with how community members might work towards building a paradigm for solidarity work with others who share a stake in building communities that are free of sanism and psychiatric oppression. The dissertation ends with an exploration of how clinical and counselling psychologists might proceed in their work taking into consideration the experiences and perspectives shared by participants.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32700
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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