Title

Diverse research methodologies for understanding occupational experiences across different sociocultural groups: Rewards, challenges and confluence

Start Time

6-10-2012 10:25 AM

End Time

6-10-2012 11:55 AM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

This session will present research methodologies that illustrate different paths for constructing knowledge and developing a depth of understanding about the occupational experiences of individuals and groups particularly those from diverse sociocultural contexts.

Grounded theory, as a methodology suited to exploring social processes, is highly relevant to occupational scientists with an interest in generating knowledge of an occupational nature that can extend existing theories and frameworks underpinning human behaviour, for example models of migration. Drawing on research with Indian immigrants in New Zealand, the first presentation will demonstrate the effective use of grounded theory (Strauss, 1987; Schatzman, 1991) in producing new knowledge of occupational processes as they unfold over time and across cultures, and that challenge current understandings of acculturation and the immigrant experience. The second paper offers critical theory as a way to consider pluralism in understanding occupations across places, populations and times. Critical theory’s focus on historical realities directs researchers to problematize taken-for-granted, ‘natural’ phenomena and to examine how power relations may influence the conceptualization and availability of different occupations. The author will argue for the inclusion of critical theory research methodologies to counter the potential of individualism prevailing in the development of occupational science and draw on published occupational science research to illustrate how critical theory can inform knowledge development.

The second set of papers will address methodologies that help bridge occupational scienceinto occupation-based practice. Community-based participatory research (CBPR)is built on the notion that participants know best their experiences, and it is by assuming a inclusive, non-expert and collaborative stance that the researcher gains an “insider” perspective (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011). This dynamic method allows for reiterative action and reflection that promotes a deeper understanding of larger contextual influences on participation. The value of CBPR in giving voice and empowering participants from two studies will be discussed.

The final presentation will focus on an interdisciplinary mixed-methods research studies on the impact of a professionally conducted arts-based dance and storytelling program with older adults. The study utilized Creswell and Plano Clark’s (2007) methods, which assert the advantage of combining quantitative and qualitative approaches to understanding complex phenomena. The presentation will include a brief summary of results and will discuss the benefits of the design, lessons learned, and practical considerations for other occupational scientists planning to conduct mixed- methods research in naturalistic settings.

All papers will present the strengths and challenges of using these different methodologies in occupational science research.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What features of a population help us determine the best research methods for inquiry with that group?
  2. What aspects of occupation could be studied using these methods?
  3. To what extent should change to promote the well-being of populations be an aim of occupational science research?

References

Bourdieu, P. (1998). Practical reason. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed method research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2011). The Sage handbook of qualitative research.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Sayer, A. (2009). Who’s afraid of critical social science? Current Sociology, 57, 767-786. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011392109342205

Schatzman, L. (1991). Dimensional analysis: Notes on an alternative approach to the grounding of theory in qualitative research. In D. R. Maines (Ed.), Social organization and social process (pp. 303-314). New York: Aldine De Gruyter.

Strauss, A. (1987). Qualitative analysis for the social scientists. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511557842

Comments

Discussion panel

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 6th, 10:25 AM Oct 6th, 11:55 AM

Diverse research methodologies for understanding occupational experiences across different sociocultural groups: Rewards, challenges and confluence

This session will present research methodologies that illustrate different paths for constructing knowledge and developing a depth of understanding about the occupational experiences of individuals and groups particularly those from diverse sociocultural contexts.

Grounded theory, as a methodology suited to exploring social processes, is highly relevant to occupational scientists with an interest in generating knowledge of an occupational nature that can extend existing theories and frameworks underpinning human behaviour, for example models of migration. Drawing on research with Indian immigrants in New Zealand, the first presentation will demonstrate the effective use of grounded theory (Strauss, 1987; Schatzman, 1991) in producing new knowledge of occupational processes as they unfold over time and across cultures, and that challenge current understandings of acculturation and the immigrant experience. The second paper offers critical theory as a way to consider pluralism in understanding occupations across places, populations and times. Critical theory’s focus on historical realities directs researchers to problematize taken-for-granted, ‘natural’ phenomena and to examine how power relations may influence the conceptualization and availability of different occupations. The author will argue for the inclusion of critical theory research methodologies to counter the potential of individualism prevailing in the development of occupational science and draw on published occupational science research to illustrate how critical theory can inform knowledge development.

The second set of papers will address methodologies that help bridge occupational scienceinto occupation-based practice. Community-based participatory research (CBPR)is built on the notion that participants know best their experiences, and it is by assuming a inclusive, non-expert and collaborative stance that the researcher gains an “insider” perspective (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011). This dynamic method allows for reiterative action and reflection that promotes a deeper understanding of larger contextual influences on participation. The value of CBPR in giving voice and empowering participants from two studies will be discussed.

The final presentation will focus on an interdisciplinary mixed-methods research studies on the impact of a professionally conducted arts-based dance and storytelling program with older adults. The study utilized Creswell and Plano Clark’s (2007) methods, which assert the advantage of combining quantitative and qualitative approaches to understanding complex phenomena. The presentation will include a brief summary of results and will discuss the benefits of the design, lessons learned, and practical considerations for other occupational scientists planning to conduct mixed- methods research in naturalistic settings.

All papers will present the strengths and challenges of using these different methodologies in occupational science research.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What features of a population help us determine the best research methods for inquiry with that group?
  2. What aspects of occupation could be studied using these methods?
  3. To what extent should change to promote the well-being of populations be an aim of occupational science research?