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|Title:||Locations of Therapeutic Benefit: An Ethnography of Child and Youth Mental Health Services in Ontario, Canada|
|Keywords:||anthropology, mental health services, Ontario, child, youth, therapeutic benefit|
|Abstract:||<p> This dissertation focuses on young people's and staffs discourses about, and participation in, day treatment mental health programs in Ontario. These experiences and perspectives are situated within broader structural contexts of power, policy and societal expectations. In doing so, I adapt and update Scheper-Hughes and Lock's (1987) Three Bodies model as an overarching structure for the thesis. I differ from their distinct division between the three bodies as my grounded theory approach to fieldwork data highlights the relational aspects of therapeutic practices, and in turn I draw attention to the interaction between and within Scheper-Hughes and Lock's individual-social-politic bodies. </p> <p> I completed fieldwork at two services, one for 13-18 and one for 5-12 year olds. These institutional settings are primarily concerned with (re)creating mental health and educational well-being. As such both they and my research are at the intersection of multiple academic disciplines, which means that my dissertation draws heavily on a variety of anthropological, sociological and childhood studies literatures and methodologies, as well as on influences from psychiatry and psychology, in addition to a broad range of post-structuralist I post-modem theorizing. </p> <p> In addition to this academic approach, my work has applicability, which was necessitated in part by the fieldwork sites' demand that they see benefits from research. My applied approach was also necessitated by my position that anthropological research can fruitfully combine both applied and academic approaches to research, known as praxis. </p> <p> Key issues addressed within my thesis are: the need for multiple qualitative methodologies, both to address questions around working with young people and questions arising from fieldwork sites primarily informed by quantitative research; the usefulness of combining aspects from the theoretical work of Bourdieu and Foucault in understanding how mental health therapies act to reenculturate young people; the importance of the role that the young people play in their own therapeutic recovery which I explore through my concept of con.fined agency; that (perhaps surprisingly) rites de passage and liminality can be useful conceptual frameworks to approach the sociality of individual bodies in the daily material activities at the fieldwork sites; and the negotiation by young people and staff of the ongoing negative impacts of stigma associated with mental illness. Within my ethnographic theorizing is the importance ofrelational interaction between individual-social-politic level bodies. </p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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