The article questions and problematizes the way in which self-responsibility is individualized as part of recovery from mental illness. Anchored in cultural-historical activity theory and ecological psychology, the article seeks to explore and discuss how individual and collective responsibility is intimately intertwined and, subsequently, consider the implications in relation to social-psychiatric practice. The empirical material consists of participant observations from Bethel House, a Japanese social-psychiatric facility, where the main motto is “By myself, with others”. Here, work is centered around ‘tohjisha kenkyu’, an explorative approach to mental illness, along with a strong community of practice based on, among other things, the collective production of strawberries and kombu. The article points to the necessity of prioritizing meaningful social communities in social-psychiatric recovery work in order to facilitate the development of self-responsibility. Otherwise, the demand for self-responsibility bears the risk of becoming yet another individualizing measure that may ultimately prevent that which it is meant to support, namely recovery.
|Translated title of the contribution||The meaning of community in a time of self-responsibilization: On winter strawberries, recovery and collective (self)responsibility in Japan|
|Journal||Tidsskrift for Forskning i Sygdom og Samfund|
|Number of pages||158|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|