Realising Sedgwick’s Vision: Theorising strategies of resistance to neoliberal mental health and welfare policy

Moth, Rich and McKeown, Mick (2016) Realising Sedgwick’s Vision: Theorising strategies of resistance to neoliberal mental health and welfare policy. Critical and Radical Social Work. ISSN 2049-8608 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

There has recently been a re-emergence of interest in non-reductive historical materialist modes for analysing social movements. A precursor of this is found in the work of mental health activist and Marxist theorist Peter Sedgwick. We contend that Sedgwick’s work retains utility for theorising radical mental health movements in the twenty-first century, though we argue his framework needs extension in light of intervening debates regarding the interaction of material (distributive) and post-material (recognition) concerns. Having established this we will turn to an overview of recent neoliberal work, welfare and mental health policy reforms as a basis for consideration of strategic implications and challenges for resistance and coalition building amongst survivor and worker activists. We will propose a contemporary Sedgwickian strategy that identifies transitional organizing goals combining concrete material demands with imaginative, prefigurative means oriented towards ruptural change. In conclusion we argue that tools for promoting this strategy such as the Social Work Action Network’s (SWAN) Mental Health Charter may assist in binding together diverse constituencies to strengthen alliances of resistance and deepen a politics of solidarity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Critical & Radical Social Work. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Moth, Rich and McKeown, Mick (2016) Realising Sedgwick’s Vision: Theorising strategies of resistance to neoliberal mental health and welfare policy. Critical and Radical Social Work. ISSN 2049-8608 is available online at: https://policypress.co.uk/journals/critical-and-radical-social-work
Keywords: mental health; social movements; Marxism; welfare reform; psycho-compulsion; strategies of transformation
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Social Work, Care and Justice
Depositing User: Rich Moth
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2017 14:05
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2017 00:15
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1719

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