Annotated Bibliography 1

Annotated Bibliography

Kenyon Stanley COMM 602 Dr. Zachary White November 7th, 2010

Annotated Bibliography 2 Young, E. (2009). Memoirs: Rewriting the social construction of mental illness. Narrative Inquiry, 19(1), 52-68. doi:10.1075/ni.19.1.04you.

E. Young¶s qualitative analysis of four individuals stories highlight the detrimental impact that cultural values have in effectively treating mental illness. Young examines how each individual was forced to deal with the guilt and shame that arose when their mentally ill condition left them unable meet the cultural expectation of society. Furthermore, Young highlights how superimposing cultural values and expectations on mentally ill subjects made the diagnosis and treatment more difficult. Lastly, Young posits that the mentally ill are a voiceless group that is in desperate need of further exposure.

Young¶s report focuses on the clinical diagnosis of depression. For many years, depression was not taken seriously in society. Many people believed (and still believe) that people diagnosed with depression should simply suck it up, pull up their boot straps and take responsibility. Depression is a serious problem with the homeless population. Depression leads to suicidal thoughts, fatigue and many other factors which can render a homeless individual simply incapable of appropriately navigating him or herself to a life of self-sufficiency. Young¶s report will highlight the dysfunctional sense making methods that mentally ill subjects employ while engaging in narrative discourse. Young¶s report will provide me with similar narratives between mentally ill subjects who are and aren¶t homeless.

L. Moxam & S. Pegg¶s article is an argumentative report where the authors persuasively posit that the manner society provides housing for the mentally ill is inadequate. The authors suggest that providing more community based environments will lead o deinstitutionalization in the men and women who suffer from mental illness and are in need of housing. Lastly, the authors

Annotated Bibliography 3 highlight the importance of supportive and flexible housing alternatives, especially housing options which allow the residents more control over their options.

Moxam and Pegg¶s article is an ³out of the box´ idea that directly challenges the current methodology agencies employ when housing indigent mentally ill patients. The notion of institutionalization is a reality that I witness every night when attempting to serve the needs of mentally ill homeless men. While my project proposal is designed to give a marginalized group a voice, out of the box ideas need to be explored if effective treatment is ever going to be actualized. Right now, the mentally ill homeless population is housed in homeless shelters. Their needs are expected to be met by staff that is not qualified to diagnose or treat mental illness. In fact, at my place of employment there is nobody on staff that is credentialed to identify and meet the primary and secondary needs of the mentally ill. Therefore, this argumentative article will provide some great ³out of the box´ ideas for the discussion portion of my proposal.

Ritchie, L. (2009). Metaphor, narrative, and social reality in a conversation about homelessness. Conference Papers -- International Communication Association, 1-30. Retrieved from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.

L. Ritchie¶s study attempted to utilize peer group discussions of homeless individuals in order to discover reoccurring themes and metaphors that occurred during the group sessions. The group sessions were recorded and transcribed by students of Dr. Ritchie. The analysis revealed several reoccurring themes. One of the themes exposed was that several of the subjects chose to blame others for their situation and/or the system. There were no occurrences where the subjects blamed themselves for their failure to live a self-sufficient life. Additionally, the subjects

Annotated Bibliography 4 unanimously agreed that substance abuse was a coping mechanism for their hard life instead of a barrier to better their situations. Again, many of the subjects blamed the system for inadequate drug treatment programs, thus exemplifying the ³blame the system´ metaphor.

Ritchie¶s study is a great study where the voices of homeless people are given a platform. Ritchie¶s report will enhance my research proposal in the discussion and ³so what´ areas of my paper. Ritchie effectively exposes that many homeless people blame others for their situation, thus suggesting that while making sense of their lives, taking personal responsibility is secondary while blaming others is primary and a way to cope with the guilt that obviously accompanies people suffering from homelessness. Considering my report deals with mentally ill homeless people, it will be interesting to see whether or not the reoccurring metaphors in Ritchie¶s study occur in my study. Ritchie¶s qualitative analysis will provide a platform to compare the sense making process between mentally ill homeless individuals with a cohort of mentally sound homeless people.

Heuchemer, B., & Josephsson, S. (2006). Leaving homelessness and addiction: Narratives of an occupational transition. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 13(3), 160-169. doi:10.1080/11038120500360648.

B. Heuchemer & S. Josephsson¶s 2006 article is a qualitative analysis of two homeless women who suffer from chemical dependency issues. The authors use a comparative analysis between the two homeless drug abusers and two individuals who don¶t have substance abuse issues or homeless situations. By utilizing a narrative approach, the researchers found that the homeless women initially thought that drugs would provide a solution to their problems but soon realized that using drugs turned out to be a significant barrier to self-sufficiency. Additionally, the

Annotated Bibliography 5 researchers found that the women suffering from homelessness and chemical dependency viewed life in the short term and intense. In contrast, the women who didn¶t suffer from homelessness or drug addiction viewed life through a long term lens and were less intense. Lastly, the report gives the reader a unique snapshot into the lives of a vulnerable and marginalized faction of society that doesn¶t get much exposure.

While the research was conducted in Sweden, chemical dependency and homelessness are mutually inclusive. Drugs are a major factor as to why society has struggled to understand and effectively end homelessness. Although my research proposal is centered on the mentally ill homeless, many mentally ill homeless people suffer from chemical dependency issues as well. Furthermore, when substance abuse is added as a barrier to the mentally ill homeless, the combination of prescribed medication and mind-altering drugs further disrupt the mentally ill homeless from connecting with their own socially constructed reality. Therefore, it is quite possible that in order to treat the mentally ill homeless, effective substance abuse treatment may need to be addressed as well. By highlighting the similarities that the women in Heuchemer & S. Josephsson¶s study share with the subject(s) in my research proposal, will highlight the complexity mutually inclusive relationship between homelessness, chemical dependency and homelessness.

Williams, B. (2009). Life as narrative. European Journal of Philosophy, 17(2), 305-314. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0378.2007.00275.x.

Bernard Williams¶ article draws upon Alasdair MacIntyre¶s notion that lives are lived first and then told. Additionally, Williams posits that there are three levels to which narratives take place. The first level is intelligible action. Williams says that when an individual takes part in an

Annotated Bibliography 6 action, engages someone in a conversation or any other human transaction, then he or she is a character and co-author in a narrative. The second account of narrative occurs at the level of living. In order for one to socially construct her or his narrative, he or she must be conscious of the overarching narrative environment. The third and final account of narrative provides the basis for the unity of life. In other words, humans make sense out of our personal narratives and the relationship our lives/stories have with others.

Williams¶ article depicts how humans normally make sense out of their lives. My research proposal focuses on how the mentally ill homeless engage in the sense making process and the narratives they construct. While Williams¶ analysis provides a good generalization for people, it is quite possible that the sense making process mentally ill subjects engage in is disjointed and inconsistent, thus contributing to their overall confusion with life in general. Williams¶ article will provide my research proposal with a sound baseline of how mentally sound individuals socially construct their own narratives and how they make sense out of them.

Lai, C. (2010). Narrative and narrative enquiry in health and social sciences. Nurse Researcher, 17(3), 72-84. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

The article C. Lai writes is a wonderful summation of how narratives are a great tool for researchers who endeavor to make sense out of sense making. Lai explores the concepts of narrative and narrative enquiry. Furthermore, Lai explores their ontology and epistemology and how they contribute to the field as a research tool. Lastly, throughout Lai¶s article are links to how narratives are a great tool for researchers who intend to find trends in the way people make sense out of their lives.

Annotated Bibliography 7 While this article does not address homelessness or mental illness, Lai¶s article gives the reader wonderful insight to the history of storytelling as well as many ideas that today¶s researcher can practically apply narratives for many purposes. Lai states a compelling argument for narratives as a way that humans have always made sense out of life. I plan on citing Lai in my literature review portion of my proposal as the purpose of my paper is centered on narrative and sense making.

Wright, N., & Walker, J. (2006). Homelessness and drug use ± a narrative systematic review of interventions to promote sexual health. AIDS Care, 18(5), 467-478. doi:10.1080/09540120500220474.

Wright and Walker use a longitudinal study of 99 scholarly papers on the subject of homelessness, drug use prevention and the promotion of sexual health. Out of the 99 papers, 6 met the criteria for Wright and Walker¶s study. The purpose of the study was to examine whether or not drug treatment intervention methods actually affects a positive change in the subject¶s sexual health. The study concluded that treatment exercises such as role play, video games and group work led to a decrease in drug usage and sexual activity.

Wright and Walker¶s report is a great reference for my paper as homeless people in general face many barriers to self-sufficiency. This report addresses substance abuse and sexual health. Sexual health is a broad definition which encompasses a great deal of health and behavioral issues. For example, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are two of the health issues which is likely to be part of a homeless person¶s narrative. Additionally, many of the homeless have a history of engaging in sexual activity that lacks intimacy and is rooted in abusive environments. My research proposal is an attempt to hear the voice of the mentally ill

Annotated Bibliography 8 homeless. If finding that the subject(s) in my study have a history of drug use and poor sexual health, the findings of Wright and Walker might give me some great ideas in the ³so what´ section of my proposal.

Nelson, G., Clarke, J., Febbraro, A., & Hatzipantelis, M. (2005). A narrative approach to the evaluation of supportive housing: Stories of homeless people who have experienced serious mental illness. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 29(2), 98-104. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

In an attempt to evaluate supportive housing, Nelson, Clarke, Febbraro & Hatzipantelis hear the stories of twenty homeless individuals who suffer from mental illness. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness supportive housing has on the mentally ill homeless population. Using a qualitative approach, the researchers discover that the quality of life before the individuals entered supportive housing was filled with anxiety and generally dark. In contrast, following the participants entrance into supportive housing, the participants reported a significant brighter perspective on life in general. Although the quality of life of the participants were enhanced after entering a supportive housing system, some of the subjects reported negative aspects about their supportive housing environment (e.g. struggles with substance abuse & access to medication).

While this report evaluates supportive housing, there is a great deal of information which will enhance my research proposal. For example, the report is a narrative approach. By hearing the voices of the mentally ill, patterns of sense making emerge and give the reader a snapshot into the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens. The sense making patterns in this report will complement the patterns which show themselves in my study.

Annotated Bibliography 9 Theiss, J., & Solomon, D. (2008). Parsing the mechanisms that increase relational intimacy: The effects of uncertainty amount, open communication about uncertainty, and the reduction of uncertainty. Human Communication Research, 34(4), 625-654. doi:10.1111/j.14682958.2008.00335.x.

Theiss and Solomon¶s article examines uncertainty, openness of communication and the uncertainty reduction process as they simultaneously affect intimacy in romantic relationships. Using a quantitative approach, the study surveys a cohort of traditional college age students over a six week period. The results of the study indicate that reducing uncertainty is the only significant predictor of intimacy.

As my project proposal explores sense and sense making for the mentally ill homeless population, it is critical to reduce uncertainty and increase self-disclosure of the subject(s) who will be studied. In my experience, I have noticed that homeless men in general are skeptical and generally don¶t trust others. The mentally ill homeless men I encounter are even more difficult to reach. Therefore, decreasing the uncertainty of the subjects about the nature of my study will increase the level of intimacy (trust) the interviewer has with the subject(s).

Annotated Bibliography 10

Summary While reading the articles for this project, ideas were popping off in my head about the direction of my final research proposal. I read close to twenty different reports and all of them could have contributed to my purpose to affect change in the way society deals with providing care for the mentally ill homeless individuals in our country. However, my research proposal will be limited to a qualitative analysis on how one or two mentally ill homeless men socially construct their narratives and make sense out of those stories. Additionally, the lack of trust that mentally ill homeless people have towards others is a reality that my proposal will have to address. The lack of trust stems from previous traumatic experiences and the uncertainty of the future. Therefore, my proposal must include methods to reduce the

Annotated Bibliography 11
level of uncertainty in the overall setting the subjects will experience during the interview process. While building trust isn¶t the primary focus of my research proposal, I want to get as close to a pure narrative of the narrative and sense making process as possible. My annotated bibliography contains sources that analyze uncertainty reduction, narrative discourse, chemical dependency, housing methods and other barriers to self-sufficiency that mentally ill homeless people encounter in their journey. While reading these articles, I saw the faces of the men I serve every day. Before this project, I lacked focus and direction regarding how I would proceed. Analyzing the work that has preceded my area of focus has fueled the flames of passion and given me a clear direction on how I intend to proceed. Each of the articles in my annotated bibliography will contribute to my proposal. Some of the articles will be highlighted in my literature review, some will be in my discussion and some will be referenced throughout my paper. I will simply have to wait and see how the drafting process unfolds. Homelessness is a social problem that will require passionate people to remain solution orientated towards a large number of barriers. Mental illness is simply one barrier. However, considering that many mentally ill people suffer from mental illness and other barriers, effectively solving the problem will only happen when people get out of the compartmentalized approach currently employed by agencies and adopt new methods that attack all of the barriers simultaneously.

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