Survivors History Group takes a critical look at historians

Survivors History Group

in Critical Perspectives on User Involvement

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427519
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305590 | DOI:
Survivors History Group takes a critical look at historians

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This chapter critiques histories of the survivor movement constructed by academics, arguing the importance of survivors writing their own histories and making these accessible to others. It draws on survivor archives to argue that there has been continuity in action taken by mental health service users since the 1970s. The chapter identifies developments taking place in different parts of the UK and elsewhere, and the connections between these. It argues that accurate description is more important than theorising about the movement, and naming survivor activists is important to emphasise the role played by particular individuals and to bring to life the lived experience of being part of the movement. The chapter discusses key texts by both survivor historians and academic commentators.

Keywords: survivor history; competing histories; lived experience; movement continuity; archives

Chapter.  5063 words. 

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