• Rikke Jensen
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis takes focus on the society’s stigmatization of schizophrenics and which consequences this stigmatization can have on their recovery-process. In the light of the limited perspectives in existing research on which consequences the society’s stigmatization can have on schizophrenic’s recovery-process, the aim is to examine how schizophrenics experience and handle the society’s stigmatization and which consequences this could have on schizophrenic’s recovery-process.
The thesis is based on a phenomenological/ hermeneutical approach as well as empirical material resulting from qualitative, semi-structured life-world-interviews with five schizophrenics. In the analysis, the empirical material is confronted with a theoretical framework, constituted by Erving Goffman’s theory of stigmatization, Howard S. Becker´s theory of labelling and Alain Topor´s theory of recovery.
The present study shows that the interviewed schizophrenics use a lot of time, energy and resources to hide the schizophrenia for the society. The schizophrenics can choose to apply the description, ”mentally ill” instead of schizophrenic, but by doing so, it can make it difficult for them to shape a complete image of them self. It showed that they could conceive criminals plans or make use of criminals methods and this would remove them self, further away from what is normal in the society and in the end, they could end up in jail. To seek back to the psychiatric ward is also a way for the schizophrenics to handle the society’s stigmatization, but a hospitalization will shield them from the rest of the society. The schizophrenics can, when they are released from the psychiatric ward, experience stigmatization because they can carry a label that say ”nuts”. On behalf of this, some schizophrenics would like to make a fresh start somewhere else, but not everyone have the amount of energy to do that and can therefore experience relapse. Some schizophrenics can get an ambivalent feeling by spending time with other mentally ill people and can therefore with conscious, avoid spending time with other mentally ill persons because they don’t want to think of themselves as mentally ill persons. But it can have a significant meaning to see their experiences during their period of sickness, to include that in their life-experience. This thesis’ executive conclusion is that the society’s stigmatization of schizophrenics, have consequences on their recovery-process and the social work should always keep in mind that stigmatization and recovery doesn’t go hand in hand and therefore the precondition for schizophrenics to accomplish a successful recovery-process, is to eliminate the stigmatization of schizophrenics.
Publication date2 Jun 2014
Number of pages83
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 198385941