Home > Research > Activities > Mental health and reflexivity: The role of pers...
View graph of relations

Mental health and reflexivity: The role of personal experiences of mental ill-health in medical sociological research

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

7/06/2016

Was it autoethnography? The classificatory, confessional and mad politics of lived experience in sociological research This paper will consider what counts as autoethnography. My interdisciplinary ethnographic doctoral research was conducted with an arts-based NHS community mental health service. The research investigated and critically examined the emergence of ‘recovery in/from serious mental health problems’ as a conceptual frame, and as a set of practices and policy orientations. Drawing on feminist technoscience studies, I provide a specific empirical account of recovery in practice. As part of the research I accessed the service as a service-user would do, in addition to interviewing staff and service-users, and situating this data in broader socio-political debates concerning the meaning, management and lived experience of madness and distress. I claimed my doctoral research was autoethnographic and this was contested during my viva, resulting in my reframing of the research as participatory ethnography. In this paper I reflect on the ways in which this change matters when considering the role of personal experience in knowledge production. Drawing upon feminist theory and Mad Studies, I will explore the classificatory and confessional politics of “lived experience,” identity and identification, and situated research subjectivities. In doing so, I question the ideals of authenticity and authority that autoethnography infers. Ironically, I will do this through autoethnographic means.

Event (Conference)

TitleMental health and reflexivity: The role of personal experiences of mental ill-health in medical sociological research
Date7/06/167/06/16
LocationUniversity of Edinburgh
CityEdinburgh
CountryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionNational event