Title

The Unfolding of an International Study of Valued Food-Centered Occupations in Older Women

Start Time

28-10-2005 4:00 PM

End Time

28-10-2005 5:40 PM

Abstract

This study examined older women’s experiences of preparing the Christmas meal in rural Kentucky and urban New Zealand, and preparing Songkran (Thai New Year) food to offer at temple in Chiang Mai. Data was collected through multiple focus group interviews in all three countries.

Being true to the perspective of older women of three very different cultural regions, yet finding a way to contrast those perspectives, requires a continual and shared reflexive awareness of inherent methodological challenges. Those of a purely constructivist bent would say it is not even possible to do this in a rigorous way. Yet, for occupational science, the potential of such studies is significant. Examining multi-site international data on occupational experience and meaning uncovers and challenges Western assumptions rooted deep in occupational science’s theoretical constructs. The data is evocative and thought-provoking, but the analysis can raise more questions than it answers. Is the derived etic method sufficient to make internationally comparative studies trustworthy?

This study demonstrates the unfolding of methods and results over a long-term internationally collaborative research project. Previously presented at SSO meetings were: results of analysis of the Kentucky data alone (2002), the epistemological and cross-disciplinary basis for the planned derived etic method for the internationally comparative analysis (2003), and results of the initial comparative analytic theme, tradition (2004).

At this point, the international team will report on the unfolding of this collaboration, the shift from initial coding categories to current themes emerging from the nearly completed international analysis, and the development and potential of the derived etic methods used.

The research team anticipates a lively discussion, and poses to attendees the following question: What type of occupations, compared across cultures, would best serve the development of occupational science?

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Oct 28th, 4:00 PM Oct 28th, 5:40 PM

The Unfolding of an International Study of Valued Food-Centered Occupations in Older Women

This study examined older women’s experiences of preparing the Christmas meal in rural Kentucky and urban New Zealand, and preparing Songkran (Thai New Year) food to offer at temple in Chiang Mai. Data was collected through multiple focus group interviews in all three countries.

Being true to the perspective of older women of three very different cultural regions, yet finding a way to contrast those perspectives, requires a continual and shared reflexive awareness of inherent methodological challenges. Those of a purely constructivist bent would say it is not even possible to do this in a rigorous way. Yet, for occupational science, the potential of such studies is significant. Examining multi-site international data on occupational experience and meaning uncovers and challenges Western assumptions rooted deep in occupational science’s theoretical constructs. The data is evocative and thought-provoking, but the analysis can raise more questions than it answers. Is the derived etic method sufficient to make internationally comparative studies trustworthy?

This study demonstrates the unfolding of methods and results over a long-term internationally collaborative research project. Previously presented at SSO meetings were: results of analysis of the Kentucky data alone (2002), the epistemological and cross-disciplinary basis for the planned derived etic method for the internationally comparative analysis (2003), and results of the initial comparative analytic theme, tradition (2004).

At this point, the international team will report on the unfolding of this collaboration, the shift from initial coding categories to current themes emerging from the nearly completed international analysis, and the development and potential of the derived etic methods used.

The research team anticipates a lively discussion, and poses to attendees the following question: What type of occupations, compared across cultures, would best serve the development of occupational science?