The Emergence of Recovery: A Genealogical Exploration of the Forces of Power Shaping New Zealand's Mental Health Services in the 21st Century
Recovery is a conceptual model that underpins New Zealand’s mental health service delivery in the 21st century. This thesis explores how recovery emerged historically as an influential philosophy and how representations of recovery have changed to meet the needs of different groups. An inquiry, based on Foucault’s genealogical method, investigates the historical and contemporary forces of power that have shaped the construction of mental illness, and the development of methods and techniques to support and manage persons labelled as mentally ill. The normalisation of knowledge developed during 19th century psychiatric practice provided a context for later critique and resistance from movements that highlighted the oppressive power of psychiatric discourse. Key to the critique were the antipsychiatry and service user movements, which provided the conditions for the possibility of the emergence of recovery as a dominant discourse. Since its emergence, recovery has moved through a number of representations as it was taken up by different groups. A significant shift in the 21st century has been the dominance of neo-liberal discourse based on consumerism, a rolling back of the state, and an emphasis on individual responsibility. The implications of this shift for users and providers of services and their effects on current representations of recovery conclude the inquiry.