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Title: 'Having those conversations': the politics of risk in peer support practice
Authors: Scott, A.
Doughty, C.
Kahi, H.
Keywords: sociology
health studies
mental health
peer support
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Scott, A., Doughty, C., Kahi, H. (2011) 'Having those conversations': the politics of risk in peer support practice. Health Sociology Review, 20(2), pp. 187-201.
Abstract: Peer support is a fast growing type of service provision within the mental health sector. This study draws on interviews with peer supporters and peer support managers to explore the ways that risks of violence, suicide and self-harm are managed within peer support settings in Aotearoa New Zealand. Drawing on Nikolas Rose and other theorists, who define risk thinking as an attempt to ‘discipline uncertainty’, we argue that the philosophy of peer support is in tension with a ‘risk consciousness’ because it sees crisis as a learning opportunity. We contend that peer supporters are pulled towards the ‘risk consciousness’ which pervades the mental health sector, and that they address this by managing risk in various ways. Finally, we show that peer supporters challenge this risk consciousness by working with risk through a philosophy of engagement and relationship. As peer support becomes more integrated into the wider health system, the challenge will be to continue the development of risk practices which work within a strong peer support philosophy.
Publisher: University of Canterbury. Aotahi School of Maori and Indigenous Studies
University of Canterbury. School of Social and Political Sciences
University of Canterbury. Sociology
Research Fields: Field of Research::16 - Studies in Human Society::1608 - Sociology
Field of Research::11 - Medical and Health Sciences::1117 - Public Health and Health Services::111714 - Mental Health
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10092/5909
Rights URI: http://library.canterbury.ac.nz/ir/rights.shtml
Appears in Collections:Arts: Journal Articles

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