Interrogating power: The case of arts and mental health in community projects

Rebecca Lawthom (Lead / Corresponding author), Judith Sixsmith, Carolyn Kagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we use the multi-dimensional model of power to interrogate arts and mental health community based projects. Using data retrospectively gathered during a series of participative evaluations, we re-analyse the data focusing on the ways in which power is located and negotiated across levels of analysis and multiple ecological domains. Evidence from the evaluations is richly presented illustrating power at the micro, meso and macro level. Whilst the model offers a rich reading of power, it is difficult to operationalize historically. Moreover, the static nature of the model fails to adequately capture the multiplicity of sometimes polar positions adopted. Engaging in a particular framework of community psychology, we argue that this project may be seen as part of a wider prefigurative action research agenda.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-279
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2007


  • Arts
  • Evaluation
  • Mental health
  • Power
  • Prefigurative action research

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