Mapping mental health and the UK university sector: networks, markets, data

Kotouza, D., Callard, F. , Garnett, P. and Rocha, L. (2022) Mapping mental health and the UK university sector: networks, markets, data. Critical Social Policy, 42(3), pp. 365-387. (doi: 10.1177/02610183211024820)

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The mental health and well-being of university staff and students in the UK are reported to have seriously deteriorated. Rather than taking this ‘mental health crisis’ at face value, we carry out network and discourse analyses to investigate the policy assemblages (comprising social actors, institutions, technologies, knowledges and discourses) through which the ‘crisis' is addressed. Our analysis shows how knowledges from positive psychology and behavioural economics, disciplinary techniques driven by metrics and data analytics, and growing markets in digital therapeutic technologies work as an ensemble. Together, they instrumentalise mental health, creating motivational ecologies that allow economic agendas to seep through to subjects who are encouraged to monitor and rehabilitate themselves. Mental health’ as a problem for UK universities has come to be largely defined through the outcomes of ‘resilience’ and ‘employability’ and is addressed through markets that enable training, monitoring, measuring and ‘nudging’ students and staff towards these outcomes.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded by The Wellcome Trust (219172/Z/19/Z).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Callard, Professor Felicity
Creator Roles:
Callard, F.Writing – review and editing, Conceptualization, Supervision
Authors: Kotouza, D., Callard, F., Garnett, P., and Rocha, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Journal Name:Critical Social Policy
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1461-703X
Published Online:16 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Critical Social Policy 42(3): 365-387
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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