Problematizing Social Inequality of Power within Self-Management Mental Health Services in Brazil

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Isabelle RUELLAND, UQAM, Canada
Increasing attention to individuals and groups, networks and systems, processes and evolutions suggests an epistemological shift that not only veils the social reality of inequalities within organizations, but also "deconstructs" the notion of organization itself. The transition from an understanding of the organization in terms of structure and functions to a more fluid conception of organizational practices and processes present new challenges in understanding the links between the organization and the social relations of power today. In order to overcome this impasse, our recent research on the networks of mental health services in the city of Campinas of the State of São Paulo in Brazil is based on a return to the concrete for a critical sociology of organizations. Integrating users of mental health services into organizational analysis opens a new path in the study of the social relations of power. As such, studies such as Guattari's work at the Borde clinic help to create a critical approach to the relationship between organization and the social relations of power. My research is inspired by this approach which seems to be the most likely to inspire the study of the socio-political dimension of organization. It is a question of shifting the sociological issue between the institution and the organization to the political issue between practices, individuals and political process of subjectivation (Rancière 1998). This critical and micro-sociological orientation is helpful in understanding, from an open perspective, how organizational practices act on social relations of power. The notion of "roda" (circle in Portuguese) used by individuals involved in our fieldwork was our guide to interpreting the meaning of organizational process within self-management mental health services in Campinas. This paper will problematize this epistemological choice focusing on roda as a modus operandi of a collective project to democratize the Campinas mental health network.