Vänskap och organisering. En studie av Fountain House-rörelsen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The Fountain House Movement – or the Clubhouse Movement - is an organization for community support, meeting the needs of adults suffering from mental illness. It was founded by a self-help group among discharged patients in New York in the 1940s. Today there are more than 300 clubhouses around the world. The aim of this dissertation is to characterize, interpret and understand the Clubhouse Movement as a social phenomenon, as an organization and as a mode of rehabilitation. The study deals with the Clubhouse Movement in terms of history, social policy and ideology. Important phases in the historical development, principles of organization and ideological preferences are focused on. The Clubhouse Movement is also compared to other movements and mainstream rehabilitation models. Finally, a study of a Swedish clubhouse is presented. The source material consists of studies of the writings of the Clubhouse Movement, observations, interviews and a so-called micro-sociological analysis of an interview. Organization sociology and theories of social movements have been employed to characterize and interpret the Clubhouse Movement. One could claim that social movements are successful if they manage to achieve social acceptance and influence on contemporary policies. Taking such a perspective into consideration, the Clubhouse Movement has been successful. Instead of a strategy of adaptation, the movement has mainly chosen to renegotiate and challenge traditional institutional demands. By forming its own standards and a co-ordinating center, the Clubhouse Movement tries to protect the model from what it perceives as irrelevant or misconceived institutional demands from the outside. For people whose psychiatric disability has excluded them from the social context, the clubhouse is a place of friendship and identification. Through its mode of organization, the Clubhouse Movement produces a sense of community, democracy and meaningful work.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Work


  • Care and help to handicapped, Handikappade, voluntary organizations, normalization, social movements, self help, clubhouse, psycho-social rehabilitation, vård och rehabilitering, Social changes, theory of social work, Sociala förändringar, teorier om socialt arbete
Translated title of the contributionFriendship and organizing: A study of the Fountain House Movement
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1997 Jun 6
  • Arkiv
Print ISBNs91 7924 101 8
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1997-06-06 Time: 10:15 Place: Edens hörsal, Paradisgatan 5H, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Christie, Nils Title: Professor Affiliation: Dept. of Criminology, University of Oslo ---