British Sociological Association: Sociology of Mental Health Study Group Symposium

Social Movements & Sociological Knowledge on Mental Health: Where Are We Now?

Friday 13th June 10am–5pm

University of Wolverhampton, City Campus
The British Sociological Association’s Sociology of Mental Health Study Group is 10 years old this year. Its programme of work has included exploration of links between academic sociology and social movements in mental health and between the women’s and mental health sectors. This symposium seeks to build on this programme to explore the contributions of a range of social movements to sociological knowledge on mental health and the relationships between these movements. The event will provide a space for critical reflection and discussion on:

i)        the ways in which the psychiatric survivor movement, the disabled people’s (disability) movement, the trade union movement and the women’s (feminist) movement and their social histories have shaped sociological knowledge on mental health;

ii)       overlaps, links, commonalities and synergies, as well as differences, points of departure and tensions between these movements; and

iii)      the possibilities or otherwise for alliances between these social movements and between the movements and academia in sociological knowledge construction and social action for the future concerning mental health.

The event will offer space for multi-disciplinary debate and discussion of the interface between disciplinary/study/practice areas concerned with social perspectives on mental health (e.g. Medical Sociology, Education, Disability Studies, Women’s Studies, Critical Psychology, Social Psychiatry; Nursing, Social Work, Community Development) and provide the opportunity for coalescing sociological knowledge on mental health from a range of study and practice areas.

Speakers: Professor Diana Rose, Institute of Psychiatry; Dr Janet Wallcraft, University of Wolverhampton; Dr Sarah Carr, Sarah Carr and Associates Ltd, Universities of Birmingham and York and trustee for the National Survivor User Network (NSUN); Matthew Danaher, Unison; Dr Mick McKweon, School of Health, University of Central Lancashire; Professor Simone Fullager, Department of Education, University of Bath; Dr Patsy Staddon, Women’s Independent Alcohol Supportand University of Plymouth; Dr Karen Newbigging, Institute of Applied Social Sciences, University of Birmingham; Dr Lydia Lewis, Institute of Education, University of Wolverhampton; Dr Helen Spandler, School of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire.

Cost: £20 for BSA members; £25 for non-members (to include refreshments and lunch). We may be able to offer some funded places (to cover registration fee and travel) for third sector, service user, carer and student delegates (dependent on the outcome of a funding application; please e-mail or call Dina at the address and telephone number below to register your interest in receiving one of these).

To register: click here (by 4th June)

Enquiries: Email Dina Poursanidou or Lydia Lewis.

Organisers: Dina Poursanidou, University of Manchester; Lydia Lewis, University of Wolverhampton; Patsy Staddon, Women’s Independent Alcohol Support and University of Plymouth; and Angela Cotton, University of Salford.

BSA Sociology of Mental Health Study Group web site.


Draft Programme 

(Presentation titles TBC)


10.00-10.30: Registrations

10.30-10.45: Introduction to the day

10.45-12.15: Session 1: The contribution of the survivor movement to sociological knowledge on mental health and ways forward for the movement:

Dr Janet Wallcraft, Professor Diana Rose, Dr Sarah Carr


Break – 12.15-12.30


12.30-1.30pm Session 2:

Sociological perspectives on alcohol use – Dr Patsy Staddon

Madness and the sociology of disablement: tensions and possibilities – Dr. Helen Spandler


1.30-2.15 – Lunch


2.15-3.15: Session 3: The women’s movement and sociological knowledge on mental health

Dr. Simone Fullager – The contribution of the women’s movement and feminist perspectives towards sociological knowledge on mental health

Dr Karen Newbigging and Dr Lydia Lewis – The relationship between the women’s movement and the psychiatric survivor movement and the contribution of their social histories to sociological knowledge on mental health


3.15-3.30: Break


3.30-4.30 Session 4

Links between the trade union movement and the psychiatric survivor movement and how the social histories of the two movements have shaped sociological knowledge on mental health:

Dr Mick McKeon; Matthew Danaher


4.30-5pm: Overview, synthesis, general discussion and close.


Categories: Workshops


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