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Mental health service users in researchCritical sociological perspectives$
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Patsy Staddon

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307334

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307334.001.0001

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Sociology and survivor research: an introduction

Sociology and survivor research: an introduction

(p.1) One Sociology and survivor research: an introduction
Mental health service users in research

Angela Sweeney

Policy Press

This chapter provides a context and background for the book as a whole. It first describes its origins in the British Library seminar series, a milestone in survivor research. It outlines the historical relationship between sociology and survivors’ voices and the development of key theories about mental health service users and survivors. It considers how they have both advanced and undermined survivors’ voices, demonstrating that historically, survivors’ voices are almost silent in sociology, with survivors rarely speaking for themselves and producing their own theories of madness and distress. As survivor researchers reclaim their voices through survivor research, they challenge the sociological tradition of understanding and representing worlds through the lens of detached academic interpretation. The British Library seminar series, and this book, demonstrate sociology's engagement with survivors’ voices and with participatory and survivor controlled research. Sociology and survivor research are engaging on an equal footing.

Keywords:   Survivors’ voices, History, sociological engagement

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