Challenging “schizophrenia” narratives in psychology textbooks


A new article published in Theory & Psychology investigates how the dominant narratives of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (PWDS) are constructed in Introductory Psychology (IP) courses and textbooks and the major consequences that arise from omitting their voices from these texts.  

The authors, Jessica Senior and Andrea LaMarre, conducted a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis on six IP textbooks assigned in New Zealand and Australia and identified the following three discursive constructions of schizophrenia: object-for-study, social problem, and unrecoverable illness. Additionally, they used a MAD studies theoretical framework in their analyses to show how it can be utilized to reframe the traditional and oppressive narratives embedded in these texts.  

“These discursive constructions position PWDS as passive recipients of biomedical treatment who require control and containment: interventions that must be undertaken by particular kinds of experts.” 

They emphasize the consequences of neglecting the subjectivity of PWDS and omitting their lived experience and voices from textbooks and research, stating:  

“This (re)produces the epistemic injustice experienced by PWDS in psy-professionals and academia, where their voices are seen as noncredible and are removed from conversations about themselves and their experiences.”


Read the full article on Mad in America 

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Ally is pursuing a master's in interdisciplinary studies through New York University's XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement. She uses the relationship between anthropology, public health, and the humanities to guide her research. Her current interests lie at the intersection of literature and psychology as a method to reframe the way we think about different mental states and experiences. Ally earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota in Biology, Society, & Environment.