Written by 14:20 Articoli, Geotema 41

Geotema 41 – La ricerca sul campo e le sue sconfitte. Un racconto di ricerca-azione nell’ex-Ospedale Psichiatrico di Palermo

Giulia de Spuches

La ricerca sul campo e le sue sconfitte. Un racconto di ricerca-azione nell’ex-Ospedale Psichiatrico di Palermo

Abstract: Fieldwork and its Defeat. A Tale of Action-Research in Palermo ex-Psychiatric Hospital

This article examines the re-functionalization of a mental health place in Palermo: the former “Pietro Pisani” Psychiatric Hospital. In so doing, it outlines the different legislative phases that occurred in Italy. The Basaglia Law sanctioned the closedown of Psychiatric Hospitals in the country. In this paper, I examine the consequences of this act by looking inside the space of Palermo Ex-Hospital. The study focuses on an action-research I conducted in the Hospital during three years. A sort of diary retraces the linked strands and tries to separate them. I draw attention to the degree of participation of the different actors, by adopting the Arnstein scale method. The article proceeds to explore the way in which the researcher, in the fieldwork, is positioned and what the results of the investigation are. How can we measure a good result? Are we speaking about the degree of inclusion of actors or about the process of territorial activations? In the experience of this fieldwork, this kind of considerations leads to a discussion on the defeat of research. I argue the importance to tell how a defeat is able to show different levels of power. I suggest that also a micro-space, such as that of Palermo Ex-Hospital, invites the rethinking of power dynamics on different levels and at different geographical scales.

Keywords: Mental Health, Fieldwork, Action-Research.

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