The accidental death of Mr. Happy: a post-qualitative rhizoanalysis of mental health and wellbeing

Mcphie, Jamie ORCID logo ORCID: (2016) The accidental death of Mr. Happy: a post-qualitative rhizoanalysis of mental health and wellbeing. Doctoral thesis, University of Cumbria (awarded by Lancaster University).

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There is a growing body of evidence indicating that anxiety, stress and mental ill-health are becoming more prevalent in modern Western societies. At the same time, climate change and mass extinction have now taken root in a period of the earth’s history that has been labelled, ‘the Anthropocene’ and/or ‘Capitalocene’. Some academics have related these various issues to a ‘crisis of perception’ and a general nature-culture perceptual misalignment. This thesis/play is a deconstruction and (re)construction of human-environment conceptions in relation to mental health and wellbeing. More precisely, it is an attempt to map ‘the spread mind’ in ‘environ(mental) health’ (Mcphie, 2014a). (Intra-)Act 1 is an exploration of the performativity of particular Euclidean concepts as well as post-Enlightenment environmental and psychotherapeutic paradigms, with a particular emphasis on those that purport an innate connection with nature. The act also (re)views models that measure mental health as an objectified or subjectified essence within an anthropocentrically idealised self. By taking this approach, I highlight the distinct move in Western culture from an ontology of immanence to one of transcendence. (Intra-)Act 2 invites you to think with a post-qualitative collaborative action (re)search, using psychogeography and rhizoanalysis to map the temporal assemblages of six people-environments (a multiplicity), each with a specific diagnosed mental health concern, in order to explore how mental health and wellbeing is a distributed process. (Intra-)Act 3 and the assemblages present the rhizoanalyses in the form of (re)presentational experimentation including, Brechtian playwriting and assemblages of mental health. By thinking with a troika of emerging contemporary process-relational ontologies, I propose an alternative post-psychotherapeutic pathway for how we might conceive of mental health and wellbeing. This attempt emphasises the intra-relational co-production of material agency and is (re)presented in this study as a process distributed of the environment. This is not a conclusion.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Doctoral)
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Outdoor Studies
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2017 10:06
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 16:01


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