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Disability, culture and normative environments: The art and therapy discourse in theatre projects within the disability area
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2004 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, ISSN 1501-7419, E-ISSN 1745-3011, Vol. 6, no 2, 131-150 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Swedish disability policy is guided by normative principles such as influence, participation and self determination. One way of practicing the policy is to create social settings conductive to the realisation of the aims and objectives in the law. In this article I discuss the condition, content and ideology of one of those normative environments - theatres with intellectually disabled actors. The empirical data collection is conducted in a fieldwork in a municipality in northern Sweden. I intend to discuss the main findings of this study, where the focus highlights the tension present when arranging artistic motivated activities within the frames of the communal social services. The article is based on a study, fully presented in Holmgren (2001).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge , 2004. Vol. 6, no 2, 131-150 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-14426DOI: 10.1080/15017410409512646OAI: diva2:154097
Available from: 2007-05-31 Created: 2007-05-31 Last updated: 2010-12-02Bibliographically 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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