Dr Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong has an MA in Philosophy and Theology and an MSt and DPhil in Social Anthropology, all from Oxford.

His thesis, Information, Self-Management and Common Sense: an ethnography of NHS mental healthcare was supervised by Elisabeth Hsu. It explores tensions between efforts to make care accountable (through such notions as ‘quality,’ ‘efficiency,’ and ‘transparency’) and attempts to empower patients (known variously as ‘patient-centred care,’ ‘recovery,’ ‘self-management,’ and ‘the co-production of meaning).’ It argues that many clinically attractive understandings of patient empowerment are incompatible with bureaucratic accountability.

His research interests include the anthropology of mental healthcare, ethics, political and institutional anthropology, the anthropology of religion and life-writing by people affected by mental ill-health.

As a postdoctoral associate, Neil gives tutorials in anthropology for a number of colleges, as well as a course of lectures in the anthropology of religion.

Neil is a member of the board of editors of the Psychiatric Bulletin and sits on an NHS clinical ethics advisory group.

Selected Publications:

Armstrong N, in press: ‘Knowing more by knowing less? A reading of 'Give Me Everything You Have. On being stalked’ by James Lasdun’. Journal of Medical Humanities 

Armstrong N, Price J and Geddes J, 2015: ‘Serious but not solemn: rebalancing the assessment of risks and benefits of patient recruitment materials.’ Research Ethics 11: 98-107

Armstrong N, 2012: ‘What can we learn from service user memoirs? Information and service user experience.’ The Psychiatrist (36) 341 - 344.

Email: neil.armstrong@anthro.ox.ac.uk

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