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Institutional environments and sub-cultural belonging: theatre and intellectual disabilites
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2007 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, ISSN 1501-7419, E-ISSN 1745-3011, Vol. 9, no 1, 46-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses a theatre, Olla, which has actors with intellectual disabilities.Using qualitative methods the aims are to analyse how Olla relates to institutional environmentsand to analyse the social meaning of acting. The results are based on two empirical researchprojects using three qualitative methods: participant observation; open, non-structured qualitativeinterviews with both the leaders and the actors; and research circles with the actors. The resultswere analysed from a neo-institutional and a sub-cultural perspective. The results show that, at anorganizational level, Olla is connected to the two different logics, which generate a certainambivalence in relation to the surrounding environment. Legitimacy is rooted in a duality betweenprocess and product, art and therapy. However, the process at hand creates cultural meaning,where the emphasis is on the identification and celebration of difference. By sharing the samecultural belonging and by expressing this in relation to the public, the actors have developedconfidence and strength with emancipatory significance. It has given them an instrument withwhich to deal with their experiences of ambivalence to their environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group , 2007. Vol. 9, no 1, 46-57 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2234DOI: 10.1080/15017410601029770OAI: diva2:140140
Available from: 2007-04-13 Created: 2007-04-13 Last updated: 2011-03-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mellan konst och terapi: Om teater för personer med utvecklingsstörning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mellan konst och terapi: Om teater för personer med utvecklingsstörning
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Between art and therapy : theatre for people with intellectual
Abstract [en]

In this dissertation, a qualitative research project has been conducted focusing on two theatres for persons with intellectual disabilities. The aim of the dissertation was to analyze the ideological tension between artistic practises and the institutional setting in which they are arranged. The aim of the thesis was answered through the following questions:

What happens when a new and innovative logic is introduced on a well established organisational field?

How do Rebellerna and Ållateatern translate and manage the institutional setting under which they are working?

How do Rebellerna and Ållateatern relate to the surrounding environment?

The analysis is based on a qualitative research project conducted over a period of two years on Ållateatern and six mounts on Rebellerna. Theoretically, the analysis has been inspired by disability theory and neo-institutional theory. In the dissertation I argue that Rebellerna and Ållateatern, in their formal structure, reflect two different logics, which have influenced their relationship with the institutional environment as well as with the actors working at the theatres. These logics have been interpreted as a consequence of the need for human service organizations to obtain legitimacy from the institutional environment. However, on an individual level the tension between an artistic logic and a therapeutic logic has had a social meaning for the actors working at Rebellerna and Ållateatern. It has generated a selfunderstanding which besides the role of a client to the welfare state also includes the role of an actor. These experiences have generated a stronger belief in their own capabilities and a sense of pride. It has also challenged established social meanings on intellectual disabilities. However, one conclusion in the thesis is that both Ållateatern and Rebellerna have had an impact in influence the organisational field of daily activities. Another conclusion is that the tension between therapy and art on an individual level represents an important building block to generate a formation of identity and sub-cultural belonging.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för socialt arbete, 2007. 78 p.
Studier i socialt arbete vid Umeå universitet : avhandlings- och skriftserie, ISSN 0283-300X ; 56
intellectual disabilities, theatre, organisational fields, institutional logics, art/therapy, Socialt arbete
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1083 (URN)978-91-7264-292-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-05-04, Norra beteendevetarhuset, NBVH1031, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00
Available from: 2007-04-13 Created: 2007-04-13 Last updated: 2014-10-07Bibliographically approved

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Ineland, JensSauer, Lennart
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