Inquiry reports as active texts and their function in relation to professional practice in mental health

Warner, Joanne (2006) Inquiry reports as active texts and their function in relation to professional practice in mental health. Health, Risk & Society, 8 (3). pp. 223-237. ISSN 1369-8575. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Inquiries into adverse events make a significant contribution to the way risk is understood in modern society and the reports they produce therefore represent an important textual development. Despite their importance, there have been few empirical studies to evaluate the impact of inquiry reports as documents, particularly with regard to their symbolic functions and their intertextuality with media accounts. This paper focuses on the function of homicide inquiry reports in mental health in the UK. Such reports have been significant because they are symptomatic of increased levels of anxiety associated with mental illness in post-community care society and also because they have served to exacerbate these anxieties. The paper draws upon social workers' accounts from an empirical study to demonstrate how reports have behaved as active documents in structuring social relations and responses to risk in mental health. The paper argues that inquiry reports in this field have taken on the status of modern allegories with powerful symbolic functions, through which they have actively reconstituted defensive practice among professionals. It is concluded that these findings are relevant in other fields such as medicine, where the wider impact of inquiry reports warrants closer attention.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Medway
Depositing User: Joanne Warner
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2008 10:44
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2014 10:48
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