This paper aims to queer evidence-based practice by troubling the concepts of evidence, knowledge and mental illness. The evidence-based narrative that emerged within biomedicine has dominated health care. The biomedical notion of ‘evidence’ has been critiqued extensively and is seen as exclusive and limiting, and even though the social constructionist paradigm attempts to challenge the authority of biomedicine to legitimate what constitutes acceptable evidence or knowledge for those experiencing mental illness, biomedical notions of evidence appear to remain relatively intact. Queer theory offers theoretical tools to disrupt biomedical norms and challenges biomedical normativity to indicate how marginalisation occurs when normative truths about mental health classify those who differ from the norm as ‘ill’ or ‘disordered’. Queer theory's emphasis on normativity serves the political aim to subvert marginalisation and bring about radical social and material change. Reference will be made to mental health subjects within each discourse by indicating how the body acts as a vehicle for knowing. Deleuzian notions of the rhizome are used as metaphor to suggest a relational approach to knowledge that does away with either/or positions in either biomedical, or queer knowledge to arrive at a both/and position where the biomedical, constructionist and queer are interrelated and entangled in needing the other for their own evolution. However, queer does not ask for assimilation but celebrates difference by remaining outside to disrupt that which is easily overlooked, assumed to be natural or represented as the norm. The task of queer knowledge is to do justice to the lives lived in the name of evidence-based practice and demands that we consider the relations of power where knowledge is produced. This pursuit creates different knowledge spaces where we identify new intersections that allow for socially just understandings of knowing or evidence to emerge.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Jun 2014|
- evidence-based practice
- mental health
- queer theory
- social constructionism
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- School of Health Sciences - Reader
- Centre for Arts and Wellbeing
- Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender
- Centre of Resilience for Social Justice
- Long-term Conditions and Rehabilitation Research and Enterprise Group
- Public Health and Wellbeing Research and Enterprise Group