Title

The Influence of Occupational Persona: Why Some but not Others Develop Effective Occupational Strategies

Presenter Information

Alison Wicks

Start Time

30-10-2004 3:00 PM

End Time

30-10-2004 4:30 PM

Abstract

This paper discusses the influence of occupational persona on developing effective occupational strategies to facilitate meaningful occupation. The paper is informed by my doctoral research which analyzed, from an occupational and a feminist perspective, the life stories of six Australian women, all aged over 65. The aim of the research was to understand what influenced the women‚s occupational potential across the life course. Occupational potential refers to a person‚s capacity to participate in meaningful occupations. My findings revealed personal, socio-cultural, historical and political factors influenced the development of their occupational potential. When a feminist lens was applied to the data, gender, a socio-cultural factor, emerged as a source of occupational tensions, limiting their occupational participation. Occupational tensions refers to the women‚s experiences when they were denied the opportunity of doing what they wanted, or had to choose between doing what they wanted and what was expected. My analysis also revealed that in response to gender-specific occupational tensions the women developed occupational strategies, unique ways of creating opportunity for meaningful occupation. The effectiveness of their strategies also influenced their occupational participation. Prompted by post doctoral discussions with occupational scientists in North America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on why some but not other women developed effective occupational strategies, I undertook further analysis of my data. Analysis of the women‚s occupational strategies has since highlighted the influence of occupational persona, that dimension of self, shaped by biology and context, which influences participation in certain types of occupation. This paper helps us to understand the role of occupational persona in maximizing occupational potential and enabling people to become who they want to be. In addition, the paper contributes to our appreciation of the multidimensional nature of the occupational human and the dynamic, complex interaction between doing, being and context.

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Oct 30th, 3:00 PM Oct 30th, 4:30 PM

The Influence of Occupational Persona: Why Some but not Others Develop Effective Occupational Strategies

This paper discusses the influence of occupational persona on developing effective occupational strategies to facilitate meaningful occupation. The paper is informed by my doctoral research which analyzed, from an occupational and a feminist perspective, the life stories of six Australian women, all aged over 65. The aim of the research was to understand what influenced the women‚s occupational potential across the life course. Occupational potential refers to a person‚s capacity to participate in meaningful occupations. My findings revealed personal, socio-cultural, historical and political factors influenced the development of their occupational potential. When a feminist lens was applied to the data, gender, a socio-cultural factor, emerged as a source of occupational tensions, limiting their occupational participation. Occupational tensions refers to the women‚s experiences when they were denied the opportunity of doing what they wanted, or had to choose between doing what they wanted and what was expected. My analysis also revealed that in response to gender-specific occupational tensions the women developed occupational strategies, unique ways of creating opportunity for meaningful occupation. The effectiveness of their strategies also influenced their occupational participation. Prompted by post doctoral discussions with occupational scientists in North America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on why some but not other women developed effective occupational strategies, I undertook further analysis of my data. Analysis of the women‚s occupational strategies has since highlighted the influence of occupational persona, that dimension of self, shaped by biology and context, which influences participation in certain types of occupation. This paper helps us to understand the role of occupational persona in maximizing occupational potential and enabling people to become who they want to be. In addition, the paper contributes to our appreciation of the multidimensional nature of the occupational human and the dynamic, complex interaction between doing, being and context.