Urban Everyday Life of People with Experience of Psychosis: A Collaborative-Ethnographic Project with Anthropology and Psychiatry

The project investigates the everyday life of people with psychosis experience in rapidly changing urban spaces. Using a qualitative and quantitative mix of methods with a focus on ethnographic approaches, everyday experiences, socio-spatial changes and new forms of social psychiatric treatment are examined in relation to each other. The project also conducts research together with people with psychosis experience who have varying degrees of contact with the psychiatric care system. The project will first of all work out how the relation between urban space and psychiatric impairment is established in and through the everyday life of 'affected persons'. Secondly, it will help to clarify whether and how existing and emerging mental health care services take this relation into account, and how this may in turn affect the everyday practices of those affected. Thirdly, this project will discuss to what extent these relations can be meaningfully generalised in order to make statements about the effects of urban governance techniques, e.g. austerity urbanism, on the everyday experiences of the growing group of marginalised people.
The combination of phenomenological, urban anthropological and psychiatric aspects is highly innovative. The project is therefore collaborative, i.e. it is applied for symmetrically from social anthropology and psychiatry. The work programme of the respective staff members is closely interlinked. In addition, the project contains an important participatory component, i.e. from a psychiatric point of view 'affected' people are employed as researchers. This has three main reasons: First, this approach follows a collaborative paradigm within social anthropology. Secondly, this form of participation corresponds to more recent research approaches and desiderata in social psychiatry. Thirdly, this approach methodologically facilitates access to people outside and on the margins of the mental health care system.
The project builds on eight years of joint research at the intersection of social anthropology and psychiatry.

Principal investigators
Niewöhner, Jörg Prof. Dr. (Details) (Urban Anthropolgy and Human-Environment Relations)

Participating organisational units of HU Berlin

Participating external organisations

DFG: Sachbeihilfe

Duration of project
Start date: 10/2020
End date: 09/2023

Research Areas
Social and Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology

Last updated on 2022-07-09 at 17:08