Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: User involvement in mental health services : a feminist critical discursive analysis
Author: Lewis, Lydia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3609 0296
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This research was carried out in the north-east of Scotland and conducted from a feminist and critical discourse analytic perspective. Its focus was on how (gendered) power relations operate in and through language within the field of user involvement in mental health services. A multi-method research design was employed that included analysis of national and local government mental health policy documents; participant observation at meetings of three mental health service user/community groups; and in-depth interviews with service users, providers and practitioners who took part in local user involvement activities. A number of effects of policy discourses surrounding user involvement were found. The discourses served to homogenise and pathologise users of mental health services, whilst eclipsing socio-political factors associated with distress and experiences of service usage, including those of gender and social class. They also served to create disorders of discourse---misunderstandings and conflict---between users and service providers/practitioners in the study field. A variety of ways in which user involvement operated as a case of power over discourse, for example through the regulation of the nature of the debate within policy forums, were identified. Power was also found to operate in and through discourses and discursive practices in the field setting. The thesis concludes that the discourse order of mental health services in the region had been reconfigured as a result of user involvement, but without significant changes to the social organisation and power relations of these. Consequently, whilst there was evidence of the transformatory potential of user involvement, this was presently discursively and structurally constrained. The main social effect of user involvement was therefore to re-inscribe and reproduce existing hegemonies within mental health services, albeit whilst destabilising these to some degree by opening space for a 'user presence' and for contention of existing ideologies and service arrangements by users. Recommendations for mental health policy and practice, including a re-articulation of user involvement policies, and for political practice and organising in the mental health field are provided.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available