Title

The Intersection of Adaptation and Identity

Start Time

16-11-2002 1:45 PM

End Time

16-11-2002 3:00 PM

Abstract

Thoughts that comprise this paper were derived from a phenomenological study conducted in 1998. The study consisted of a series of interviews conducted with seven lesbians who were living with chronic illness or disabilities. Its purpose was to explore these women's lived experiences adapting to a life-altering condition. Each woman participated in two interviews. The first interview elicited her life history. The second interview focused on an account of her disability experience. The interviews were surprising in that they generated a more explicit discussion of identity than expected. Apart from continuity theory (Atchley, 1989; Becker, 1993; Spencer et al., 1996), there is little theoretical linkage between adaptation and identity. Yet, in considering the adaptation of these women to their conditions, it became clear that their processes of adaptation and their identities were linked by occupation. Occupation is the medium through which one creates and expresses one's identity, and it is also the medium through which one adapts. This paper will use data collected in these interviews and a variety of theoretical perspectives to explore the relationship between occupation, adaptation, and identity. It will examine the function of identity as it relates to occupational choices, adaptive processes and patterns, and adaptive strategies.

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Nov 16th, 1:45 PM Nov 16th, 3:00 PM

The Intersection of Adaptation and Identity

Thoughts that comprise this paper were derived from a phenomenological study conducted in 1998. The study consisted of a series of interviews conducted with seven lesbians who were living with chronic illness or disabilities. Its purpose was to explore these women's lived experiences adapting to a life-altering condition. Each woman participated in two interviews. The first interview elicited her life history. The second interview focused on an account of her disability experience. The interviews were surprising in that they generated a more explicit discussion of identity than expected. Apart from continuity theory (Atchley, 1989; Becker, 1993; Spencer et al., 1996), there is little theoretical linkage between adaptation and identity. Yet, in considering the adaptation of these women to their conditions, it became clear that their processes of adaptation and their identities were linked by occupation. Occupation is the medium through which one creates and expresses one's identity, and it is also the medium through which one adapts. This paper will use data collected in these interviews and a variety of theoretical perspectives to explore the relationship between occupation, adaptation, and identity. It will examine the function of identity as it relates to occupational choices, adaptive processes and patterns, and adaptive strategies.