The new self-advocacy activism in psychiatry: Toward a scientific turn

Philosophical Psychology (forthcoming)
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The anti-psychiatry movement of the 20th century has notably denounced the role of values and social norms in the shaping of psychiatric categories. Recent activist movements also recognize that psychiatry is value-laden, however, they do not fight for a value-free psychiatry. On the contrary, some activist movements of the 21st century advocate for self-advocacy in sciences of mental health in order to reach a more accurate understanding of psychiatric categories/mental distress. By aiming at such epistemic gain, they depart from the anti-psychiatry movement. Through the analysis of the epistemic and political influence of two of these movements – Neurodiversity and the Mad Studies, we show how this new activism has taken a scientific turn compatible with current philosophical scientific frameworks, while still developing a critical approach on psychiatry.



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Sarah Arnaud
Clemson University

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