Articolo
Abstract

Post WWII years brought a new wave of therapeutic discourse and practice parallel to the spectacular development of neurobiological approaches to “mental illness”. Today, against the latest rebirth of psychiatry as a “Global Movement” grounded in a resolutely neuro-bio-genetic approach and the resurgence of reactionary practice, a new phenomenon is emerging, Mad Studies. Mad Studies is the umbrella term for a growing movement of re-appropriation of ‘madness’ that goes beyond protestation. While its concerns are hardly new, its focus on theoretical and conceptual approaches and on the representation of critical alternatives to the medicalized understandings of madness means that it has an important contribution to make to disability studies. Following a critical and refl exive view from my own perspective as a survivor-researcher and activist, this paper will explore aspects of the paradigm shift that Mad Studies offer. Specifi cally I propose to explore the voice of users and survivors in psychiatric research using a variety of examples and how this involvement helps create a new epistemic and political appraisal of the concerns and interests of the “Mad”.