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Accepted Paper:

New ideologies versus old practices? The politics of being mentally ill in Latvia  
Agita Luse (Riga Stradiņš University)

Paper long abstract:

Psychiatric patients' voices have only recently started, mostly through advocacy organizations, reaching a wider audience in Latvia. Since stigma has traditionally surrounded mental distress, Latvian service users have always been wary of defending their interests publicly. The circumstances seemed to change as the country was preparing to join the EU: a policy of social integration tailored to the European guidelines needed to be in place by 2004. An ideological framework was created for social integration of marginalized groups, including sufferers from mental disorders. How are the chronically ill responding to these developments? Are they imagining a different future for themselves now? To what extent have the new ideologies engendered novel practices? The paper aims to answer these questions drawing on a qualitative study that comprised interviews with patients and their carers and participant observation/listening in advocacy organizations

Panel W123
Ambiguous states of mind and crises in their management: imaginative approaches to the self and emotions in four postindustrial societies
  Session 1