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Severe mental illnesses (SMI) in general, and schizophrenia in particular, have been characterized as alterations of the experience of self and identity. When first diagnosed with SMI, the subjective experiences and specific narrative challenges faced by this population are particularly important. Therefore, qualitative approaches which allow to analyze these subjective experiences should be developed. This article presents in detail a specific method, called Social Positioning Analysis, which makes the complexity of narratives and life stories with multiple turning points understandable. To develop this methodological proposal, it has been taken into account the performative aspects of social interaction in which narratives are constructed. The methodology has previously been used in other health contexts and is innovative in the field of mental health. Linguistic criteria, definitions, and multiple examples are included to facilitate its application, as well as some reflections about its potential and possible benefits.


Javier Saavedra, Samuel Arias-Sánchez, Prof Manuel L de la Mata, Jose Antonio Matías-García. Social Positioning Analysis as a Qualitative Methodology to Study Identity Construction in People Diagnosed With Severe Mental Illnesses. Qualitative health research. 2022 Jan;32(2):360-370

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PMID: 34874787

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