Why Mad Studies Needs Survivor Research and Survivor Research Needs Mad Studies


  • Angela Sweeney St George's, University of London, UK


Mad Studies, survivor research, survivor perspectives, critiques of psychiatry, alternatives to psychiatry


Mad Studies and survivor research are emerging fields of enquiry whose goals and boundaries are continually being shaped. This paper aims to explore intersections between the two fields and argues that fostering a stronger relationship could bring strengths to each. In section one, I outline points of intersection between Mad Studies and survivor research. In section two, I discuss why I believe that Mad Studies and survivor research need one another. Mad Studies gives survivor research a framework through a theorized radical counter-discourse to biomedical psychiatry and a model for conducting research beyond consumerist service user involvement arguments; survivor research offers Mad Studies preliminary thinking around the ethics and means of knowledge generation. In the final section, I explore our positioning within and beyond the academy. I conclude by discussing the potential benefits of a stronger relationship and posing questions for our future relationship.

Author Biography

Angela Sweeney, St George's, University of London, UK

NIHR Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Population Health Research Institute