knowledge about the understanding of full participation as citizens, and whether the current framework of recovery focused care in mental health services helps or hinders the journey towards citizenship.
Generally the elements of citizenship such as political, social, and ethical have been critiqued but less so the elements of intimate (or sexual) and biomedical citizenship, particularly for those recovering from mental illness. This paper hopes to contribute to the emerging understanding of madness, citizenship and social justice for service users by discussing the parallels with another historically marginalised group: gay and lesbian citizens. This paper will also discuss the emerging findings from interviews with service users, mental health nurses and key stakeholders in statutory agencies.
Larry Green. Faculty of Education and Institute for the Humanities, Simon Fraser University
Trauma: The Emperor with no Clothes (What Trauma Reveals about Main Stream Culture)
I’m interested not only in alternative ways of looking at trauma but also what is revealed when we look from trauma. The fundamental experience of trauma is the breakdown of the subject object boundary. This boundary establishes the primal categories from which all other categories are derived. Consequently its dissolution leaves the person feeling disorientated and terror stricken. It is not only the objective trauma that distresses but also the loss of integrity, coherence, agency, etc. These experiences put the person beyond the bounds of consensual reality … i.e. the person no longer operates on the same assumptions that unconsciously govern the behavior of the vast majority of the members of one’s society or culture.
Perhaps you can see where I’m going with this. I’m saying that the typical theoretical discussion operates within the assumptions of consensual reality in order to “know” the traumatized individual. These assumptions are background, implicit and unconscious while the traumatized person is foregrounded, made explicit and “objectivized”. I wonder if it is possible to reverse this point of view and make the culture the figure and the traumatized individual the benchmark. By so doing could the traumatized figure shed some light on the taken-for-granted but not so benevolent assumptions of the mainstream?
Leon Redler. Diorama Arts, London, England
We Go Astray
Many of our culture’s predominant institutions and laws are founded, at least in part, on the notion that it’s just some of us that go astray, whether because of bad genes, bad morals, bad company or varieties of bad luck.