Title

The "Doing" of Occupational Science: Toward a Better Ethnography Through Occupation

Start Time

6-10-2006 12:50 PM

End Time

6-10-2006 1:55 PM

Abstract

Ethnography has long been used as a method of learning about the beliefs and practices of others or in the case of auto-ethnography, about the self. Ethnographic methods range from observing the doing of occupation, to participating in occupation with those being studied, to discussing occupation with participants. However, while occupation (or “doing”) is essential to the practice of ethnography, the meaning of its role in research has not been adequately explored. The objective of this panel is to facilitate a discussion of the role of occupation in research, and its potentially untapped contributions to qualitative research methods. Participant observation, a common ethnographic method, includes pure observation to active participation. This panel will explore occupation-focused participant observation as discussed in the literature and will discuss an approach involving engagement in shared occupations, occupations that are meaningful to both the participant and the researcher, as a data collection strategy. What can be gained by using this method, particularly how trusting research relationships can be fostered through engagement in shared occupation, will be illustrated using examples from one panelist’s ethnographic study of adults with autism. Information collected through interviews and participant observation are often viewed as somewhat interchangeable, reflecting the same underlying truths but expressed through different channels. However, meanings captured at the moment of occupation are not always identical to those expressed during moments of reflection. This panel will discuss one panelist’s experience capturing meanings at the point of “doing” as compared t those expressed in interviews, and will explore the significance of these differences in reporting on research. Carnal sociology is not another form of postmodern auto-ethnography; rather, it seeks to recognize the role of the body as the medium for experience and the bodily habitus as a source of tacit knowledge, and to incorporate this knowledge into more classical participant observation approaches. Toward this end, the researcher must not just observe, but also submit her body to the experiences of those being studied. In discussing one panelist’s experiences using this approach, we ask if as scholars of “doing” we should be using these ideas toward a carnal occupational science?

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Oct 6th, 12:50 PM Oct 6th, 1:55 PM

The "Doing" of Occupational Science: Toward a Better Ethnography Through Occupation

Ethnography has long been used as a method of learning about the beliefs and practices of others or in the case of auto-ethnography, about the self. Ethnographic methods range from observing the doing of occupation, to participating in occupation with those being studied, to discussing occupation with participants. However, while occupation (or “doing”) is essential to the practice of ethnography, the meaning of its role in research has not been adequately explored. The objective of this panel is to facilitate a discussion of the role of occupation in research, and its potentially untapped contributions to qualitative research methods. Participant observation, a common ethnographic method, includes pure observation to active participation. This panel will explore occupation-focused participant observation as discussed in the literature and will discuss an approach involving engagement in shared occupations, occupations that are meaningful to both the participant and the researcher, as a data collection strategy. What can be gained by using this method, particularly how trusting research relationships can be fostered through engagement in shared occupation, will be illustrated using examples from one panelist’s ethnographic study of adults with autism. Information collected through interviews and participant observation are often viewed as somewhat interchangeable, reflecting the same underlying truths but expressed through different channels. However, meanings captured at the moment of occupation are not always identical to those expressed during moments of reflection. This panel will discuss one panelist’s experience capturing meanings at the point of “doing” as compared t those expressed in interviews, and will explore the significance of these differences in reporting on research. Carnal sociology is not another form of postmodern auto-ethnography; rather, it seeks to recognize the role of the body as the medium for experience and the bodily habitus as a source of tacit knowledge, and to incorporate this knowledge into more classical participant observation approaches. Toward this end, the researcher must not just observe, but also submit her body to the experiences of those being studied. In discussing one panelist’s experiences using this approach, we ask if as scholars of “doing” we should be using these ideas toward a carnal occupational science?