Date of Award

December 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Paul Brodwin

Committee Members

Erica Bornstein, Thomas Malaby


Mental Illness, Narrative, Online, Recovery


The discussion of mental illness recovery, both academically and socially, has been framed mainly as a morally necessary medical pursuit and has left shadowed the deeper social and cultural implications of recovery ideologies and practices. Previous research has embraced the growing demand for recovery-based practices in mental health organizations, especially those led by persons labeled mentally ill (or “peers”); however, they have yet to more deeply uncover and understand the subjective meanings of recovery. More specifically, how cultural and social interactions of daily life, while both experiencing and being labeled mentally ill, direct the course and meaning of an individual’s recovery journey. Utilizing publically presented online narratives and discourse analysis methodology, the study reveals hidden implications of mental illness recovery culture and thematic social meanings of the recovery process. This exploration reveals the dynamic, symbiotic relationship between persons with mental illness, culture, and the social responsibility of recovery.