|6 Feb 2023||12:00 - 14:00||Boardroom, Faculty of Philosophy, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DA|
Rebecca Graber (University of Brighton)
‘Lived experience of friendships: Insights from creative research with marginalised communities’
This talk illuminates findings and developments from two strands of research: one focusing on the lived experience of recovery from substance misuse in Assam, India, and one focusing on informal support among peers in a thriving LGBTQIA+ community in Southeast England. Uniting these projects is an overarching focus on the complexities of friendships in supporting individual and community wellbeing, using creative visual methods (photo elicitation and creative mapping methods) to provide novel insight and enhance the voice of groups who have been marginalised from traditional social science research. What constitutes meaningful friendship support in the face of stigma, mental distress, and the fracture of other significant relationships? How do friendships create psychological and geographic places of healing, experimentation and even joy? In what ways to common experiences of identity or suffering scaffold community relationships, in what ways can friendships create constraints, and can these tensions in turn be a wellspring for resilience? I argue that in fostering creative, participant-led articulations of friendship and wellbeing, interdisciplinary researchers can move beyond simplistic preconceptions of how social relationships ‘should’ or ‘do’ function, and contribute with impact to wider conversations envisaging radical communities of hope in a complex age.
Readings for this session:
- The Big Picture – resilience to recovery from substance use in Assam, India
- Wilcox, C. & Graber, R. (2022). “We the Marlborough”: elucidating users’ experience of radical, informal therapeutic practices within a queer community pub. In C. Walker, S. Zlotowitz & A. Zoli (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Innovative Community and Clinical Psychologies. Palgrave MacMillan.