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Title: Constructing life narratives: how novels and policy discourses represent and respond to life stories about people with mental disabilities
Authors: McCauley, Karen
Keywords: mental disabilities
Issue Date: 16-Nov-2011
Publisher: Laurentian University of Sudbury
Abstract: This dissertation explores how an interdisciplinary analysis may contribute insight into how literary and policy discourses construct the life experiences of people who have mental disabilities that impair their ability to communicate their own life stories. Chapter One explains why a more comprehensive understanding of the cultural construction of mental disability may be achieved by exploring interdisciplinary relationships between social work, disability studies and literary theory. Subsequent chapters examine theoretical assumptions and frameworks associated with these contributing disciplines in greater detail, across systematic and interpretive analytic approaches. In addition, key concepts and questions relevant to constructing a vocabulary that facilitates collaboration between the contributing disciplines are considered. This literature review informs a methodology for undertaking an interpretive discourse analysis of pertinent policy and novels that depict disability within the context of Ontario's 'Institutional Cycle'. Specifically, the research attempts to answer the following questions: What is the relationship between the representation of mental disability in literary narratives and public policy discourses about mental disability; and, how may an interdisciplinary analysis of literary and policy discourses inform policy planning and the provision of services for people with mental disabilities in Ontario? Chapters 6-8 analyze the literary and policy data across Establishment, Reform and Dismantlement phases of the Institutional Cycle to arrive at a set of findings and recommendations that explain relationships between policy and novels across the phases of the Cycle. Finally, key themes for consideration in policy planning for people with mental disabilities are identified as priorities for action in an emerging 'post-institutional' era, in Ontario.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses
Human Studies and Interdisiplinarity - Doctoral Theses

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