Title

Occupation, Power & International Development

Presenter Information

Daniel Molke
Debbie Laliberte Rudman

Start Time

27-10-2007 5:00 PM

End Time

27-10-2007 6:00 PM

Abstract

Increasing attention within occupational therapy and occupational science has been focused on how practice aimed at optimizing occupational justice might contribute to wide spread social justice through participation in international development projects. Occupational therapists in a variety of contextual locations have underlined the importance of international development work and the unique contribution that a focus on occupational justice might bring to these efforts. At the same time, many have criticized the foci of knowledge development within occupational therapy and occupational science; arguing that the expertise that is constructed in our educational and research programs is bounded within Western epistemological values and the analysis of individual level concerns. Questions arise about how occupational therapy and occupational science, and the knowledge and expertise that is associated with these communities, will affect the majority world. It can be argued that all scientific activities are couched within particular value systems that shape what kind of scientific discoveries occur and how knowledge is interpreted and put to use. A science governed by a justice-based agenda and guided by ameliorative aims operates within a particular frame of reference, a political location, which is inherently value based. Within the literature much attention has been focused on the importance of reflexivity as a means to maintain vigilance regarding one’s work and its locations. Within the occupational literature, some authors have challenged students, professionals, and academics to think critically about power relations, including the ways in which power is embedded within knowledge construction and use. Thus, it is imperative that we continually examine the foundations of our thought and practice. This paper presents an historically oriented textual analysis of literature pertaining to occupational justice and international development. Foucauldian analytical tools will be drawn upon to explore the taken-for-granted assumptions embedded in such literature and critically explore the ways in which power operates through occupational therapy’s and occupational science’s concern with occupational justice. This paper contributes to the criticalization of the occupational discourse through a demonstration of the utility of Foucauldian genealogical exploration and, as such, adds to efforts to build a politically and culturally sensitive knowledge base regarding occupation.

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Oct 27th, 5:00 PM Oct 27th, 6:00 PM

Occupation, Power & International Development

Increasing attention within occupational therapy and occupational science has been focused on how practice aimed at optimizing occupational justice might contribute to wide spread social justice through participation in international development projects. Occupational therapists in a variety of contextual locations have underlined the importance of international development work and the unique contribution that a focus on occupational justice might bring to these efforts. At the same time, many have criticized the foci of knowledge development within occupational therapy and occupational science; arguing that the expertise that is constructed in our educational and research programs is bounded within Western epistemological values and the analysis of individual level concerns. Questions arise about how occupational therapy and occupational science, and the knowledge and expertise that is associated with these communities, will affect the majority world. It can be argued that all scientific activities are couched within particular value systems that shape what kind of scientific discoveries occur and how knowledge is interpreted and put to use. A science governed by a justice-based agenda and guided by ameliorative aims operates within a particular frame of reference, a political location, which is inherently value based. Within the literature much attention has been focused on the importance of reflexivity as a means to maintain vigilance regarding one’s work and its locations. Within the occupational literature, some authors have challenged students, professionals, and academics to think critically about power relations, including the ways in which power is embedded within knowledge construction and use. Thus, it is imperative that we continually examine the foundations of our thought and practice. This paper presents an historically oriented textual analysis of literature pertaining to occupational justice and international development. Foucauldian analytical tools will be drawn upon to explore the taken-for-granted assumptions embedded in such literature and critically explore the ways in which power operates through occupational therapy’s and occupational science’s concern with occupational justice. This paper contributes to the criticalization of the occupational discourse through a demonstration of the utility of Foucauldian genealogical exploration and, as such, adds to efforts to build a politically and culturally sensitive knowledge base regarding occupation.