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'Citizens of Nowhere': Diffractive Engagements with Borderline Personality Disorder


'Citizens of Nowhere': Diffractive Engagements with Borderline Personality Disorder

Whynacht, Ardath J. (2017) 'Citizens of Nowhere': Diffractive Engagements with Borderline Personality Disorder. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Citizens of Nowhere Final.pdf - Accepted Version
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This thesis examines lived experiences with Borderline Personality Disorder through arts-based qualitative research and 'friendship as method'. Rather than treat social experience as distinct from material, or biological realities, the thesis builds on a feminist, new materialist position that resists a division between matter and meaning. A diffractive approach is used to work through problems of representation that divide vision into self/other and to facilitate the emergence of stories along different patterns of relating. Intra-action implies the emergence of experience through and within our entanglements, rather than inter-action, which presupposes the object prior to its relations. Given that women with the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (or those with the same grouping of symptoms) are incarcerated at a disproportionately higher rate than those who do not, the thesis also works to move beyond some of the limitations of prison abolitionism and mad studies scholarship, whose social constructionist frame marginalizes emotional experience and fails to reflect the needs or lived experiences of women with the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. By diffractively working through the lived experiences of collaborators, the author presents three 'friendship' stories with fictional characters that represent contributions from all participants in the project. These stories help us to imagine ways in which prison abolitionism and mental health advocacy movements can dismantle harmful institutions without relying on discursive structures that marginalize those who are most vulnerable. This thesis seeks to expand abolitionist theorizing, by holding space for critical attention to suffering that emerges intra-actively between and within us.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Whynacht, Ardath J.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:March 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):de Courville Nicol, Valérie
ID Code:982433
Deposited On:31 May 2017 19:12
Last Modified:15 Apr 2019 00:00
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