Practicing creative maladjustment: the Mental Health Political Action Group

Date created: 
2011-08-11
Identifier: 
etd6778
Keywords: 
Psychiatric survivor
C/s/x movement
Activism
Praxis
Abstract: 

This dissertation chronicles the rise and fall of the Mental Health Political Action Group (MHPAG), a Vancouver area radical psychiatric consumer/survivor collective active from 2007 to 2009. The objectives are threefold: 1) to document the experiences of a courageous group of grassroots activists involved in mental health rights advocacy, 2) to recount their achievements and frustrations, and 3) to present these findings in a way useful not only to the academy but to activist communities as well. Through a combination of participant observation and autoethnography, an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of non-hierarchical organization and peer-support mechanisms is applied through the lens of critical theory. The main finding is that, despite challenges and resistances from authorities and mainstream organizations, non-hierarchical activism, as practiced by the MHPAG, provides a space for anti-capitalist social relationships and a freedom for peer support under which many participants flourished.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Robert Menzies
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Statistics: