Special Issue "Exploring Human Doing through an Occupational Lens"

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Nick Pollard

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: experiences of mental illness; community based rehabilitation; meaningfulness and occupational narratives in community writing groups
Guest Editor
Dr. Dikaios Sakellariou

School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: social and occupational justice; community based rehabilitation; sexuality and disability and living with continued illness

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues

This Special Issue invites manuscripts addressing the connection between the social and the occupational. Since the discipline of occupational science was announced 25 years ago as an underpinning for the occupational therapy profession, many new occupational concepts have been developed to capture ideas about the human significance of ‘doing’ and its relationship to social identity. The individualistic assumptions, which characterize this professional discourse, are being challenged as these terms do not adequately address social approaches or population based needs.

The austerity measures being applied in several countries are pressuring traditional service structures or leading to new service markets for health and social care. As health and social care is being reoriented to address preventative health measures—dealing with what people do and how this impacts on the way that they become patients, clients, or customers of services—it might be argued that an occupational base is potentially a central focus for effective planning to meet the diverse and complex needs of society: the changes needed to address ageing populations; the need for greater social and cultural inclusion; the impact of economic disparities; the relationship between health, the environment and climate change.

Contributions to this Special Issue will critically engage with some of the issues above. We also invite contributions that will critically discuss whether these wider concerns are a distraction from the essential clinical work of occupational therapy, or are instead necessary areas of development.

The Call for Paper is open to authors from, for example, occupational therapy, occupational science, ability studies, disability studies, narrative studies, anthropology, culture, and social history. Interdisciplinary researchers are particularly invited to submit papers.

 

Dr. Nick Pollard
Dr. Dikaios Sakellariou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • occupational therapy
  • occupational science
  • occupation
  • ability studies
  • disability studies
  • healthcare
  • illness experiences
  • interdisciplinarity

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
“Activated, but Stuck”: Applying a Critical Occupational Lens to Examine the Negotiation of Long-Term Unemployment in Contemporary Socio-Political Contexts
Societies 2016, 6(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030028
Received: 20 May 2016 / Revised: 26 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Solutions for the problem of long-term unemployment are increasingly shaped by neoliberally-informed logics of activation and austerity. Because the implications of these governing frameworks for everyday life are not well understood, this pilot study applied a critical occupational science perspective to understand [...] Read more.
Background: Solutions for the problem of long-term unemployment are increasingly shaped by neoliberally-informed logics of activation and austerity. Because the implications of these governing frameworks for everyday life are not well understood, this pilot study applied a critical occupational science perspective to understand how long-term unemployment is negotiated within contemporary North American socio-political contexts. This perspective highlights the implications of policy and employment service re-configurations for the range of activities that constitute everyday life. Methods: Using a collaborative ethnographic community-engaged research approach, we recruited eight people in Canada and the United States who self-identified as experiencing long-term unemployment. We analyzed interviews and observation notes concerning four participants in each context using open coding, critical discourse analysis, and situational analysis. Results: This pilot study revealed a key contradiction in participants’ lives: being “activated, but stuck”. This contradiction resulted from the tension between individualizing, homogenizing frames of unemployment and complex, socio-politically shaped lived experiences. Analysis of this tension revealed how participants saw themselves “doing all the right things” to become re-employed, yet still remained stuck across occupational arenas. Conclusion: This pilot study illustrates the importance of understanding how socio-political solutions to long-term unemployment impact daily life and occupational engagement beyond the realm of job seeking and job acquisition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Human Doing through an Occupational Lens)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Daily Lives of People on Methadone Maintenance Treatment: An Occupational Perspective
Societies 2016, 6(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030027
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A qualitative study was undertaken with five people on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) to better understand their experiences and daily routines. Through an in-depth exploration of their everyday occupations, we sought to reveal the ongoing challenges and barriers they face to accessing treatment. [...] Read more.
A qualitative study was undertaken with five people on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) to better understand their experiences and daily routines. Through an in-depth exploration of their everyday occupations, we sought to reveal the ongoing challenges and barriers they face to accessing treatment. The concept of occupation refers to ‘all that people need, want and are required to do’ but also extends further to encompass ‘how doing contributes to processes of being, becoming and belonging’ (Huot and Laliberte Rudman, 2015). This research employed a qualitative intrinsic case study methodology (Stake, 2005). Using an occupational perspective informed by a framework for occupational justice (Stadnyk et al., 2005), the participants’ narratives are presented according to four themes highlighting key aspects of their experiences: (a) descent into chaos; (b) MMT as a bridge to recovery from addiction; (c) a new normal daily life; and (d) hopes for moving forward. The findings illustrate how structural factors and contextual factors interact to create occupational injustices. Thus, MMT practices and policies should consider the occupational implications described in this article to enhance patients’ experiences and further support their recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Human Doing through an Occupational Lens)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Context on Occupational Selection in Sport-for-Development
Societies 2016, 6(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030024
Received: 4 May 2016 / Revised: 22 June 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
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Abstract
Sport-for-development (SFD) is a growing phenomenon involving engagement in sport activities to achieve international development goals. Kicking AIDS Out is one sport for development initiative that raises HIV/AIDS awareness through sport. Despite sport-for-development’s global prevalence, there is a paucity of literature exploring how [...] Read more.
Sport-for-development (SFD) is a growing phenomenon involving engagement in sport activities to achieve international development goals. Kicking AIDS Out is one sport for development initiative that raises HIV/AIDS awareness through sport. Despite sport-for-development’s global prevalence, there is a paucity of literature exploring how activities are selected for use in differing contexts. An occupational perspective can illuminate the selection of activities, sport or otherwise, in sport-for-development programming and the context in which they are implemented. The purpose of the study was to understand how context influences the selection of sport activities in Kicking AIDS Out programs. Thematic analysis was used to guide the secondary analysis of qualitative data gathered with Kicking AIDS Out leaders in Lusaka, Zambia and Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Findings include that leaders strive to balance their activity preferences with those activities seen as feasible and preferential within their physical, socio-historical, and cultural contexts, and that leader’s differing understandings of sport as a development tool influences their selection of activities. To enable a better fit of activities chosen for the particular context and accomplishment of international development goals, sport-for-development programmes might consider how leaders are trained to select such activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Human Doing through an Occupational Lens)
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Open AccessArticle
The Portrayal of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science in Canadian Newspapers: A Content Analysis
Societies 2016, 6(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6020018
Received: 4 February 2016 / Revised: 7 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 16 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. The demand for occupational therapists in Canada is expected to grow sharply at an annual growth rate of 3.2%, compared to 0.7% for all occupations. [...] Read more.
The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. The demand for occupational therapists in Canada is expected to grow sharply at an annual growth rate of 3.2%, compared to 0.7% for all occupations. At the same time, it is believed by occupational therapists in Canada that the Canadian public does not understand the role of occupational therapy. Occupational science is an emerging basic science field that supports the practice of occupational therapy. Given that newspapers are one source the public uses to obtain information and that newspapers are seen to shape public opinions, the purpose of this study is to investigate how “occupational therapy” is covered in Canadian newspapers from the term’s first appearance in 1917 until 2016 and how “occupational science” is covered from the term’s first appearance in 1989 to 2016. We interrogated the findings through the lens of three non-newspaper sources—two academic journals: Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy (CJOT) and Journal of Occupational Science (JOS); and one Canadian magazine: Occupational Therapy Now (OTN). We found that medical terms were prevalent in the newspaper articles covering occupational therapy similar to the presence of medical terms in the CJOT and OTN. However, the newspapers missed contemporary shifts in occupational therapy as evident in the CJOT, OTN and JOS—such as the increased engagement with enablement, occupational justice and other occupational concepts. The newspapers also failed to portray the societal issues that occupational therapy engages with on behalf of and with their clients, and the newspapers did not cover many of the client groups of occupational therapy. Occupational science was only mentioned in n = 26 articles of the nearly 300 Canadian newspapers covered with no concrete content linked to occupational science. The scope of occupational therapy presented in Canadian newspapers may be one contributing factor to a situation where occupational therapists in Canada think that there is lack of public understanding around their role, as readers are not getting the full picture and as such approach occupational therapy with different expectations. Given the lack of coverage of occupational science, readers will likely obtain limited knowledge about occupational science and its focus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Human Doing through an Occupational Lens)
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