With the on-going pandemic and state abandonment/failure, communities are doubling down on self-help and mutual aid. Learn about the long history of such efforts via Thomasina Borkman‘s new book Self-Help/Mutual Aid Groups and Peer Support (Brill, 2020). In this work, Borkman overviews 50 years of research on self-help and mutual aid groups in North America. Contributors Carol Munn-Giddings and Melanie Boyce provide additional insight into these groups’ development in Europe.
Here’s the official blurb:
Thomasina Borkman reviews English-language social science research on North American self-help/mutual aid groups (SHGs) and organizations and some from industrialized countries. SHGs, known by many names, are voluntary, member-run groups of peers who share a common issue, utilize lived experience, and practice mutual aid. Borkman’s autoethnographic approach highlights her international SHG participation. Despite initial common values and practices in the 1960s and on, Alcoholics Anonymous, the mental health SHGs, and other SHGs evolved in the US as three separate social movements that became institutionalized by 2000; their history, characteristics, achievements and supportive infrastructure are summarized. British contributors Munn-Giddings and Boyce show in European countries how socio-political contexts shape self-help/mutual aid. Research has shifted from SHGs to peer support since 2000.