sociological association of ireland- 50th Anniversary conference

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


In their exploration of ways of epistemology and ethics Miranda Fricker (2007) proposed the idea of epistemic injustice, when a person, in their capacity as a knower is wronged. Fricker examines the ways in which epistemic practices are “played out by subjects that are socially situated” (2007, p.viii) and the associated questions of identity, power, which may reasonably include legacies. Such questions acknowledge the ongoing impact of past structures, ideologies and processes which inform current understandings of spirituality and mental health problems.
Central to the re-emergence of spirituality in contemporary mental health care is meaning making and its association with personal and shared values (Barker and Buchanan-Barker, 2008). This is a divergence from solely medically based understandings of mental distress, towards exploring how the individual makes sense of their world and their experience of mental distress.
Whilst progress has been made to recognise patients’ voices in mental health services they continue to experience epistemic injustice (Drozdzowicz, 2021). Furthermore, while spirituality is acknowledged in the lives of some individuals and communities there remains an ambivalence to engage with the subject in mental health services. People with mental health problems experience epistemic justice as they are denied the means to voice their experiences and engage in dialogue that might increase their understanding of their experiences (Crichton et al, 2017; Johnstone, 2021). In this presentation the author draws upon epistemic injustice and legacies to explore spirituality within the narrative of people experiencing mental health problems.

Period09 Jun 2023
Event typeConference
Locationdubin, IrelandShow on map


  • epistemic justice; spirituality; mental health