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Charlotte Ettrup Christiansen

The merits of context: Unfolding mental vulnerability as category and experience

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


‘Mentally vulnerable’ young people are a strong focal point in public debate and policy in Denmark at present, and a variety of cultural activities are now being offered to them. Building on ethnographic fieldwork (April 2018-August 2019) with so-called mentally vulnerable young women (aged 18-36) who meet in literature reading groups, this article seeks to connect the reading group with the phenomenon of ‘mental vulnerability’, first through a review of the historical emergence and contemporary use of the term, and second by considering what (painful) experiences the term signifies for individuals belonging to this category. This contextualization involves a discussion of literature on the role of context in anthropological analyses. The article concludes with an empirical contradiction: the reading group provides a sanctuary from everyday demands for purposefulness and productivity, but it can also be used as a strategy for navigating such demands.
Antal sider20
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 13 jul. 2020

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