Title

Expanding ‘conditions of possibility’: Employing critical perspectives in occupational science scholarship

1

Location

Portland Room

Start Time

29-9-2016 2:00 PM

End Time

29-9-2016 3:30 PM

Session Type

Panel

Abstract

Topic: Critical reflexivity regarding the ‘conditions of possibility’ (Kantartzis & Molineux, 2012) shaping knowledge construction in occupational science has raised concerns regarding several limits, including the predominance of an individualistic orientation, a reliance on Eurocentric and Anglophone conceptualizations of occupation, a neglect of issues of power and politics, and the incorporation of middle-class and feminized notions of ‘good’ occupations. In turn, several scholars have proposed the incorporation of critical perspectives into occupational science as a means to expand its scholarship, particularly in directions that attend to social injustices and enhance the emancipatory potential of scholarship (Farias & Laliberte Rudman, 2014).

Purpose/aims: This panel will share examples of how research that is informed and shaped by different critical theoretical perspectives has the potential to enhance the social and political relevancy and efficacy of occupational science scholarship.

Methods: Drawing upon their respective research, including work that examines how structural, discursive and other contextual factors create and perpetuate inequities for Indigenous families and children, disabled youth, persons experiencing long-term unemployment, and immigrants and refugees, each panel member will outline how the incorporation of critical theoretical frameworks and methodologies within their program of research pushes ‘conditions of possibility’ in occupational science scholarship.

Intent: Participants will gain insights into how critical perspectives can be incorporated into occupational science scholarship, and will generate ideas for further incorporation in relation to diverse social issues of relevance to occupation.

Importance to occupational science: Incorporating critical perspectives into occupational science can expand scholars’ capacities to engage in epistemic reflexivity, enhance understanding of social and occupational injustices, and enact transformative scholarship that imagines and works towards expanded occupational possibilities for diverse societal groups (Gerlach, 2015; Laliberte Rudman, 2014; Townsend, 2015).

Objectives for discussion: Participants will be invited to share examples of social issues, settings, and population groups they aim to address through their scholarship and discuss if and how they have incorporated critical perspectives into their work. Through this dialogue, we aim to raise awareness of diverse possibilities for creating synergies between occupational science and critical perspectives, as well as contribute to the building of a community of critically-oriented scholars.

Key words: Occupational justice, critical perspectives, critical methodologies

References

Farias, L. & Laliberte Rudman, D. (2014). A critical interpretive synthesis of the uptake of critical perspectives in occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science (early on-line), 1-18.

Gerlach, A. (2015). Sharpening our critical edge: Occupational therapy in the context of marginalized populations. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 82(4), 245-253.

Kantartzis, S., & Molineux, M. (2012). Understanding the discursive development of occupation: Historico-political perspectives. In G. E. Whiteford & C. Hocking (Eds.), Occupational science: Society, inclusion, participation (pp. 38–53). West Sussex, UK: Blackwell.

Laliberte Rudman, D. (2014). Embracing and enacting an ‘occupational imagination’: Occupational science as transformative. Journal of Occupational Science, 21(4), 373-388.

Townsend, E. (2015). Critical Occupational Literacy: Thinking about Occupational Justice, Ecological Sustainability, and Aging in Everyday Life. Journal of Occupational Science, (ahead-of-print), 1-14.

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Sep 29th, 2:00 PM Sep 29th, 3:30 PM

Expanding ‘conditions of possibility’: Employing critical perspectives in occupational science scholarship

Portland Room

Topic: Critical reflexivity regarding the ‘conditions of possibility’ (Kantartzis & Molineux, 2012) shaping knowledge construction in occupational science has raised concerns regarding several limits, including the predominance of an individualistic orientation, a reliance on Eurocentric and Anglophone conceptualizations of occupation, a neglect of issues of power and politics, and the incorporation of middle-class and feminized notions of ‘good’ occupations. In turn, several scholars have proposed the incorporation of critical perspectives into occupational science as a means to expand its scholarship, particularly in directions that attend to social injustices and enhance the emancipatory potential of scholarship (Farias & Laliberte Rudman, 2014).

Purpose/aims: This panel will share examples of how research that is informed and shaped by different critical theoretical perspectives has the potential to enhance the social and political relevancy and efficacy of occupational science scholarship.

Methods: Drawing upon their respective research, including work that examines how structural, discursive and other contextual factors create and perpetuate inequities for Indigenous families and children, disabled youth, persons experiencing long-term unemployment, and immigrants and refugees, each panel member will outline how the incorporation of critical theoretical frameworks and methodologies within their program of research pushes ‘conditions of possibility’ in occupational science scholarship.

Intent: Participants will gain insights into how critical perspectives can be incorporated into occupational science scholarship, and will generate ideas for further incorporation in relation to diverse social issues of relevance to occupation.

Importance to occupational science: Incorporating critical perspectives into occupational science can expand scholars’ capacities to engage in epistemic reflexivity, enhance understanding of social and occupational injustices, and enact transformative scholarship that imagines and works towards expanded occupational possibilities for diverse societal groups (Gerlach, 2015; Laliberte Rudman, 2014; Townsend, 2015).

Objectives for discussion: Participants will be invited to share examples of social issues, settings, and population groups they aim to address through their scholarship and discuss if and how they have incorporated critical perspectives into their work. Through this dialogue, we aim to raise awareness of diverse possibilities for creating synergies between occupational science and critical perspectives, as well as contribute to the building of a community of critically-oriented scholars.

Key words: Occupational justice, critical perspectives, critical methodologies