On the margins and in transit: mental health and good intentions in a nonprofit organisation on the outskirts of Lisbon

Leading researcher: Joana Catela
Research group: Governance, Policies and Livelihoods
Type of project: Doctoral research
Status: Concluded
Keywords: Immigration | Mental health | Social housing | Medical anthropology


Main institution: CRIA
Participant institutions: n.a.
Funding: FCT
Reference: SFRH/BD/37673/2007
Starting date: 01-10-07

More information:

Abstract

In order contribute to a more in-depth knowledge of immigration in Portugal, this research focuses on the mental health of immigrants supported by Association PROSAUDESC. The ethnography sets out the discourse of four users who are also residents of Urbanização Terraços da Ponte, a social housing neighbourhood on the outskirts of Lisbon. Using semi-directive interviews, life stories and case study analysis, intersections between these users and state and non-state structures are explored. The space and conditions which these individuals inhabit, as well as the history of the old Quinta do Mocho, are central in the analysis of how local subjectivities are formed and negotiated. Despite innumerable constraints, these subjects’ capacity to assert their agency was not completely compromised by their living conditions (Biehl, Kleinman, Good, 2007). The cases analysed expose the scope of the concepts of structural violence (Farmer, 2003) and social suffering (Kleinman, Das, Lock, 1997) and how these are articulated through the procedures of a non-profit organisation. These dynamics reveal how mental illness was constructed in this context, which emanations arose, and the kind of help deployed. Working as a place to reflect on the consequences of the power inherent to apparently beneficial actions (Fassin, 2005, Garcia, 2010, Hanna and Kleinman, 2013), the non-profit organisation presented itself as a stage for privileged observation. This research thus seeks to promote a critical approach to the subject, but also to contribute to the production of appropriate health policies for the immigrant population residing in Portugal.

Researchers from CRIA

IDNamePositionProjTitleProject typeStatus
pub122*Joana CatelaResearch scholarproj111*On the margins and in transit: mental health and good intentions in a nonprofit organisation on the outskirts of LisbonDoctoral researchConcluded
Other researchers

ResearcherPositionInstitutionProjOutrosTitulo_EN
Chiara PussettiSupervisorICS-ULproj111*On the margins and in transit: mental health and good intentions in a nonprofit organisation on the outskirts of Lisbon