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A qualitative exploration of how anxiety is constructed in the UK and possible implications of constructions using Semi-Structured interviews and Foucauldian Discourse Analysis.

Jones, Emily (2018) A qualitative exploration of how anxiety is constructed in the UK and possible implications of constructions using Semi-Structured interviews and Foucauldian Discourse Analysis. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The present study provides insight into how anxiety is constructed within the UK. In doing so, this study adopted a social constructionist approach to critiquing and employed Foucauldian discourse analysis. Data was collected from six British participants through semi-structured interviews. Three constructions of anxiety were identified within the discourse.A medical construction of anxiety was identified suggesting that anxiety is an illness. Previous theoretically based literature supports the suggestion of mental health being constructed medically (Szasz, 1960; 2010; Gergen, 2001a; 2007). Furthermore, the medical construction of mental health was suggested to produce stigmatisation of ‘sufferers’, thus supporting previous literature claims (Williams and Collins, 2002; Bardaro, 2016).However, alternative constructions of anxiety were identified which included a psychological construction of anxiety as a trait. In addition, anxiety was constructed as an emotion which was linked to evolutionary survival.The present research provides empirical accounts of how anxiety is constructed within the UK alongside potential impacts of constructions. Recommendation for future research suggest an investigation into additional constructions of anxiety, how to reduce stigmatisation of ‘sufferers’, and difference between anxiety and anxiousness.

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