Review Essay: Making Sense of Insanity: What Can Qualitative Research Do in Social Psychiatry?


  • Karina Korecky Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg



psychiatry, social psychiatry, reconstruction of meaning, biographical research, ethnography, discourse analysis, health services research


The editors of "Qualitative Research in Social Psychiatry" assume there is a close relationship between qualitative research and social psychiatry. In their perspective, both fields view the concept of meaning as eminently important: first, as reconstruction of meaningful social actions and narrative identity in social sciences; second, as understanding of meaning for social psychiatry. The latter ranges from the understanding of subjective experience with psychiatric institutions to the perception of psychotic experiences. The book being reviewed offers six conceptual articles and fourteen sample studies in social psychiatry to illustrate how qualitative research is being used in the field. The authors stay within well-known theoretical parameters, but invite readers to reflect anew on the instruments of social science and the latest developments of psychiatry as an institution.


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Author Biography

Karina Korecky, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Karina KORECKY, Studium der Soziologie und Politikwissenschaft, ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im DFG-Projekt "Psychiatrie und Subjektivität im Wandel" unter der Leitung von Prof. Ulrich BRÖCKLING und Dr. Andrea ZUR NIEDEN. Gemeinsam mit Andrea ZUR NIEDEN hat Karina KORECKY "Psychiatrischer Alltag. Zwang und Reform in den Anstalten des Landschaftsverbandes Rheinland 1970-1990" publiziert, erschienen 2018 im Metropol Verlag, Berlin.



How to Cite

Korecky, K. (2020). Review Essay: Making Sense of Insanity: What Can Qualitative Research Do in Social Psychiatry?. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21(2).