• Pernille Lorange Juul
  • Louise Malou Hardø Overby
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
In the thesis, we aim to look at the importance of peer support for the experience of recognition and the empowerment process for mentally vulnerable members of the Network Thorvaldsen (NT).

We have achieved firsthand knowledge from interviews from five members and by observing other members who participated in the NT activities. In addition, we have interviewed two semi-professionals who are hired as part time employees for NT to secure administrative tasks and activities there. It is important for NT that there are no occupational professionals, who set the direction and meet the members with a “paid kind of kindness” as one of the members said during the gathering of the empirical data.

The theoretical frame for this thesis is the critical theory and Axel Honneth’s recognition concept combined with the empowerment concept that was especially used by Paulo Freire. Søren Juul and Peter Høilunds “Udkast til en normativ teori for socialt arbejde“ and ”Anderkendelse og dømmekraft” enlighten the social work.
The study design is qualitative interviews and observational studies where some of the NT members have been the focal point of our empirical and subsequent analysis.
Our results show that it is very important for the informants’ empowerment process and further life to be met with recognition and be able to meet people in the same position in an informal environment and thereby get strengthened. For the members, it is an experience of recognition and safety to come in NT and it also creates some kind of obligation for the members. For the informants, it is an experience of empowerment and recognition to be met and listened to equally. This means that many members of NT get the strength to work for mentally vulnerable people’s opportunities in the society and serve as informal peer support for each other.
Publication date1 Aug 2017
Number of pages113
ID: 261034358