An emancipatory approach to practice and qualitative inquiry in mental health: Finding ‘voice’ in Charles Taylor’s ethics of identity

Pamela Fisher, Dawn Freshwater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The right to ‘voice’ has been identified as central in enabling agency and in ensuring human dignity. This paper discusses an understanding of ‘voice’ which has been derived from Charles Taylor’s concept of ‘strong evaluation’. Voice, from this perspective, is found within an ongoing process of identity development which is based on a quest for an authentic sense of self embedded in a moral journey. It is argued here that strong evaluation offers a new perspective within qualitative inquiry and emancipatory practice which may support agency and recovery in those affected by mental health issues. At the same time, strong evaluation offers the potential for positive self-transformation to all those involved in research or practice-either as service users or as service providers/ researchers. The paper addresses how strong evaluation may be enhanced and extended by sociological understandings. This is discussed in relation to a study on the changing discursive landscape in the field of mental health. Despite its primary focus on mental health, this paper is relevant to researchers working within a range of marginalized communities whose members lack epistemological authority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-17
Number of pages16
JournalEthics and Social Welfare
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

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