Social Science: US Politics; Health Policy; Political Participation

Department: Politics

Supervising Faculty Members: Lynn Sanders

Specialization: US Politics; Health Policy; Political Participation

Research Focus: “After the Institution” is Professor Sanders’ research project investigating the political situation of persons with a psychiatric diagnosis.  One part of this research involves interviews about mental health policy with advocates, legislators and other policy makers. Another part examines participation in group decisions regarding mental health service provision by citizens with and without lived experience of psychiatric diagnosis. A third area of study is voter mobilization among psychiatric consumers and survivors.

Job Description: 1) Collect and organize data on mental health law and policy in the United States; 2) Track and summarize media coverage of mental health policy; 3) Maintain a database of advocates and interviews; 4) Help administer and conduct focus groups addressing mental health policy; 5) Maintain a bibliography of relevant books, articles, and documents.

Required Skills, Courses, Resources, or Background:  Good writing and organizational skills and some facility with spreadsheets are a must. Facility with bibliographic citation searches (in Web of Science or Google Scholar), and/or data analysis using Stata, are plus qualifications.
Working knowledge of Excel is required

Training: Aspects of this project involving direct engagement with persons with lived experience of psychiatric disability require training in working with human subjects and completion of IRB certification.

What You Will Learn: Students working on this project will learn: 1, how social scientists generate and manage primary data about human behavior; 2, how to address human subjects respectfully and ethically; 3, how mental health services in the United States have evolved from institutionally based provision to community centered care; 4, how disenfranchised political groups gain access to political power.