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Service user entrepreneurs and claims to authority: a case study in the mental health area
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8755-3710
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6330-5640
2019 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Mental health service user movements have historically to a large extent employed collective forms of mobilisation, where people with service user experience have joined in formal organisations or informal groups. Currently, expressions of service user engagement are changing, and we can now observe the growth of more individualised expressions, often enacted online. This article introduces the concept ‘service user entrepreneur’ (SUE), that relates to this development. SUEs are individuals with service user experience who have made a career of their engagement in mental health issues. Based on their individual narratives of mental ill-health, SUEs often express themselves in participatory media, hold lectures and write books on the subject. The aim of this article is to examine how SUEs in their communication establish authority. Applying case study methodology, we follow four Swedish SUEs involved in mental health issues and analyse their communication primarily in digital arenas. Intimate personal narratives, mobilisation of collectives and institutional perspectives constitute authority sources for SUEs. Balancing individual and collective narratives as well as maintaining a desirable level of vulnerability is a continuous effort. How SUEs manage these issues is further discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Mental health, service user entrepreneur, authority, participatory media
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156799DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2019.1580249OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-156799DiVA, id: diva2:1292239
Available from: 2019-02-27 Created: 2019-02-27 Last updated: 2019-02-28

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Näslund, HildaSjöström, StefanMarkström, Urban
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CiteExportLink to record
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