- Analysing social spaces: relational citizenship for patients leaving mental health care institutions
- Medical Anthropology
- Volume | Issue number
- 35 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
"Citizenship" is a term from political theory. The term has moved from the relationship between the individual and the state toward addressing the position of ‘others’ in society. Here, I am concerned with people with long-term mental health problems. I explore the possibilities of ethnographically studying this rather more cultural understanding of citizenship with the use of the concept of relational citizenship, attending to people who leave Dutch institutions for mental health care. Relational citizenship assumes that people become citizens through interactions, whereby they create particular relations and social spaces. Rather than studying the citizen as a particular individual, citizenship becomes a matter of sociality. In this article, I consider what social spaces these relationships create and what values and mechanisms keep people together. I argue that the notion of neighborhood as a form of community, although built implicitly or explicitly into mental health care policy, is no longer the most plausible model to understand social spaces.
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