This article deconstructs the hagiography surrounding British mental health policy and provides a critical analysis of the ‘New Labour’ Government reforms of the Mental Health Act 1983 grounded in Foucauldian insights. Smart (1985) suggests that a Foucauldian perspective deconstructs “common sense assumptions” that lie at the heart of policies formulated by the State. A cogent discussion grounded in Foucault’s work can illustrate how surveillance and discourses of power impact on the positioning of service users as objects of control, domination and subordination.
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2005
Keywords: United Kingdom; Mental health policy; British; Foucauldian perspective
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