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Från slutna institutioner till institutionaliserat omhändertagande
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, a number of reforms have been made regarding the provision of care to people experiencing psychiatric disabilities. The aim of these reforms was to enable these people to participate in society and to ”live as others”. This political ambition, as well as research on recovery, stands to a certain extent in contrast to the message conveyed in the media, where the mentally ill/disabled to a great extent are represented as dangerous and incurable. The aim of the thesis is to analyse if, and how a group of people experiencing psychiatric disabilities create a sense of being like others, and to relate the analysis to the historical emergence of the contemporary conception of mental illness/psychiatric disability. This thesis employs the method of interviews.

I highlight the informants encounter with the historically based stereotype that defines the persons as unreasonable, irrational and incapable of taking care of themselves. When the informants face the stereotype, they act to reduce the negative consequences. The informants’ actions can be interpreted in terms of approaches and in this perspective the informants appear as strong actors, who, contrary to the stereotype, are capable of take care of themselves. Three approaches are described: expertise, adaptation, and distancing. In situations where the stereotype is not present, the informants can create a feeling of being like anyone else. Their stories show that the feeling of being like others is individual. The development taking place in the field is “path-dependent”, meaning that the initial activity, the differentiation of persons with mental illness and the subsequent events is a development following a pattern which could explain the failure of the good political intentions. It has progressed from closed institutions to an institutionalized care service.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2012. , 172 p.
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2012:54
Keyword [en]
psychiatry, psychiatric disability, normality, recovery, path dependency, stigma
Keyword [sv]
psykisk funktionsnedsättning, normalitet, stigma, återhämtning, stigberoende, psykiatri
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-12544ISBN: 978-91-7063-466-6OAI: diva2:563932
Public defence
2012-12-14, 9C204, Rejmersalen, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2012-11-23 Created: 2012-03-26 Last updated: 2012-11-23Bibliographically approved

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Grönberg Eskel, Marit
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