Chapter

Building solidarity, ensuring diversity: lessons from service users' and disabled people's movements

Peter Beresford and Fran Branfield

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427519.003.0004
Building solidarity, ensuring diversity: lessons from service users' and disabled people's movements

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This chapter discusses diversity and solidarity in user involvement and service user organisations and movements. There have been suggestions that the move to seek more inclusive and diverse action and organisation has weakened solidarity and distracted from people's efforts to work together collectively effectively. Other discussions have highlighted the limitations of such developments to address diversity adequately, sometimes resulting in narrow and hierarchical involvement that can actually exclude many people and groups, particularly members of BME communities. The chapter argues that solidarity is greatly enhanced by seriously addressing and ensuring diversity. It explores the practices and policies, as well as evidence and development work, that has been undertaken at local and national levels through the Shaping our Lives user organisation, which has led to this view. The chapter argues that strong and effective user involvement will be very important in the twenty-first century if service user involvement is to challenge the status quo, resist oppression and stand-up for social justice. It discusses both barriers and opportunities for taking this forward.

Keywords: activism; social movements; solidarity; diversity; segregation

Chapter.  5264 words. 

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