Title

Panel Presentation - Critical occupational science: Ethical, philosophical and political frameworks

Location

Hiawatha 1

Start Time

18-10-2014 1:10 PM

End Time

18-10-2014 2:15 PM

Session Type

Panel

Abstract

A recent ‘critical turn’ in occupational science challenges the discipline to expand upon being a basic science focused on the human as an occupational being or the nature of occupation (Angell, 2012; Frank, 2012; Laliberte Rudman, 2013; Sellar, 2012). This critical turn encompasses a vision of occupational science as a socially responsible intellectual and moral enterprise aimed at enhancing awareness of occupational inequities and injustices and acting to bring about social transformation and enable occupation as ‘a human right’. Excitingly, this challenge is being responded to and a growing body of work in occupational science is attempting to enact what, in this panel, will be framed as ‘critical occupational science’. This activity among occupational scientists intersects with recent international developments to develop politically oriented occupational therapy. Given that critical scholars emphasize the need for continuous collective reflexivity regarding the ethical and political underpinnings and drivers of their work (Sayer, 2009; Sellar, 2012), this panel aims to provoke such reflexivity by considering questions pertaining to: (a) how critical occupational science might be framed or defined, (b) how it has been enacted thus far in relation to epistemology and methodology, (c) how it could be enacted in the future, (d) what might be its moral or ethical base, and (e) what it can add to the study of occupation and the capacity of the discipline to be socially and politically responsive and responsible. To promote this dialogue, each panelist will provide critical reflections on her occupational science work which has embraced a critical turn, sharing both the promises and challenges of such work. The panelists draw on various theoretical influences (e.g. Foucault, Black feminist theory, American pragmatist and neo-pragmatist thought, the capabilities approach, critical medical anthropology, globalization theory, Freirian-style pedagogies of the oppressed, and varieties of neo-Marxist and poststructuralist thinking); methodologies (e.g. critical ethnography, critical interpretive synthesis and critical discourse analysis); and substantive topic areas (e.g. aging, poverty, social justice, and international development). Thus, the panel presentation will both address the diversity that can exist within critical occupational science and also point to key anchors and defining features. Following these presentations, the session will be opened to dialogue with the audience to further refine the meaning and possibilities of critical occupational science.

Key words:collective reflexivity, critical paradigm, ethics

References

Angell, A.M. (2012). Occupation-centred analysis of social difference: Contributions to a socially responsive occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2012.711230.

Frank, G. (2012). The 2010 Ruth Zemke Lecture in Occupational Science. Occupational therapy/occupational science/occupational justice: Moral commitments and global assemblages. Journal of Occupational Science, 19(1), 25-35.

Laliberte Rudman, D. (2013). The 2012 Townsend Polatajko Lectureship. Enacting the critical potential of occupational science: Problematizing the ‘individualizing of occupation’. Journal of Occupational Science, 20(4), 298-313.

Sellar, B. (2012). Occupation and ideology. In G.E. Whiteford & C. Hocking (Eds.), Occupational science: Society, inclusion, participation (pp.86-99). West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Sayer, A. (2009). Who’s afraid of critical social science? Current Sociology, 57, 767-786.

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Oct 18th, 1:10 PM Oct 18th, 2:15 PM

Panel Presentation - Critical occupational science: Ethical, philosophical and political frameworks

Hiawatha 1

A recent ‘critical turn’ in occupational science challenges the discipline to expand upon being a basic science focused on the human as an occupational being or the nature of occupation (Angell, 2012; Frank, 2012; Laliberte Rudman, 2013; Sellar, 2012). This critical turn encompasses a vision of occupational science as a socially responsible intellectual and moral enterprise aimed at enhancing awareness of occupational inequities and injustices and acting to bring about social transformation and enable occupation as ‘a human right’. Excitingly, this challenge is being responded to and a growing body of work in occupational science is attempting to enact what, in this panel, will be framed as ‘critical occupational science’. This activity among occupational scientists intersects with recent international developments to develop politically oriented occupational therapy. Given that critical scholars emphasize the need for continuous collective reflexivity regarding the ethical and political underpinnings and drivers of their work (Sayer, 2009; Sellar, 2012), this panel aims to provoke such reflexivity by considering questions pertaining to: (a) how critical occupational science might be framed or defined, (b) how it has been enacted thus far in relation to epistemology and methodology, (c) how it could be enacted in the future, (d) what might be its moral or ethical base, and (e) what it can add to the study of occupation and the capacity of the discipline to be socially and politically responsive and responsible. To promote this dialogue, each panelist will provide critical reflections on her occupational science work which has embraced a critical turn, sharing both the promises and challenges of such work. The panelists draw on various theoretical influences (e.g. Foucault, Black feminist theory, American pragmatist and neo-pragmatist thought, the capabilities approach, critical medical anthropology, globalization theory, Freirian-style pedagogies of the oppressed, and varieties of neo-Marxist and poststructuralist thinking); methodologies (e.g. critical ethnography, critical interpretive synthesis and critical discourse analysis); and substantive topic areas (e.g. aging, poverty, social justice, and international development). Thus, the panel presentation will both address the diversity that can exist within critical occupational science and also point to key anchors and defining features. Following these presentations, the session will be opened to dialogue with the audience to further refine the meaning and possibilities of critical occupational science.

Key words:collective reflexivity, critical paradigm, ethics