The phenomenology of psychiatric diagnosis: an exploration of the experience of intersubjectivity

by Bradfield, B.C.

Abstract (Summary)
This work is born out of previous research, conducted by this researcher, into the effects of psychiatric labelling on individuals thus differentiated. Informed by the investigative thrust of phenomenological inquiry, it is the aim herein to provide an illumination of the dramatic confrontation of the labelled individual with the classificatory branding that is his or her label. The question asked is: What is the experience of the labelled individual, and how does the label function as a ‘scientific fact’ (Kiesler, 2000) suffused within his being? In answering these questions, the researcher aims to abandon his own expectations, as is fitting with the phenomenological method, and to devote his sympathies entirely to the subjective disclosures which, it is hoped, the participants will offer. On this point, an obvious tension exists insofar as expectation and hypothesis necessarily constitute the inception of any research endeavour; and so, the notion of a complete bracketing of assumption and anticipation seems methodologically vague. The explorative impetus within this dissertation aims towards an elucidation of the effect of psychiatric diagnosis on the labelled individual, in terms of the individual’s experience of being-with-others. The impact of the offering of the label upon the individual’s interpersonal and intersubjective presence will be explored so as to establish whether psychiatric labelling unfolds as a disconnection of the individual from his co-existence with others.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2003

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