Martina KlausnerMilena D. BisterJörg NiewöhnerStefan Beck

Choreographies of clinical and urban everyday life. Results of a co-laborative ethnography with social psychiatry


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The aim of this article is twofold: Firstly, it is a methodological demonstration of an ethnographic mode of research that we call co-laborative. This mode enables new forms of reflexivity in European Ethnology and makes them analytically productive. Secondly, we use this form of co-laborative research with social psychiatry to argue that the dominant analytical dichotomies of the social and cultural sciences – namely normal vs. pathological or care vs. control – only describe today’s psychiatric treatment processes insufficiently. Our ethnographic material shows how ‘normal everyday life’ is choreographed in hospitals for therapeutic purposes and how this choreographing becomes problematic in post-clinical everyday lives. Based on these findings, we discuss the extent to which a practice theoretical approach can extend the established critique of subjectification by focusing on the processuality of psychiatric treatment, thus problematizing the multiple embeddedness of the production of everyday life in clinical and urban environments.

collaboration, choreography, psychiatry, theory of practice, everyday life, city