Title

Problematizing the uptake of occupational justice from a critical occupational perspective

1

Location

Portland Room

Start Time

30-9-2016 8:30 AM

End Time

30-9-2016 10:00 AM

Session Type

Panel

Abstract

Keywords: occupational justice, critical social theory, participatory action research

Purpose/Aim: The critical turn in occupational science has been seeking opportunities to move beyond the level of the individual to transform the socio-material structures that shape situations of occupational injustice (Durocher, Rappolt, & Gibson, 2014; Laliberte Rudman, 2015). However, there appears to be a tension between how occupational justice is often taken up within scholarship and these transformative aspirations (Farias, Laliberte Rudman, & Magalhães, 2016). Thus, in this panel we argue that it is vital to critically reflect on the epistemological assumptions of scholarship taking up the call for occupational justice to avoid neglecting power relations and the socio-political construction of injustice given the historical predominance of an individualizing post-positivist framework (Galheigo, 2011; Laliberte Rudman, 2015; Malfitano, Lopes, Magalhães, & Townsend, 2014).

Methods: To open this dialogue, each panelist will provide critical reflections on occupational science work related to occupational justice. The panelists will draw on various literature and approaches (e.g. critical social theory, participatory action research, quality criteria, transformative scholarship), taking up issues related to types of dichotomous thinking that we need to overcome in order to enact occupational justice, epistemologies that enable us to move away from individualizing issues, new forms of quality criteria to consider, and conceptualizations of the role of ‘science’ that embrace action and advocacy. The session will then be opened to dialogue with the audience to further discuss the meaning and possibilities of occupational justice.

Result or intent: Our intent is to provoke discussion regarding: a) dominant ways occupational justice has been taken up thus far in relation to epistemology and methodology, b) how the assumptions guiding this uptake may create tension with calls for becoming a more critical and socially responsive discipline, and c) how occupational justice could be re-envisioned to bridge the gap between the stated intention of working towards a more just society and the aspirations of critical occupational science.

Argument/importance to occupational science: This panel contributes to the study of occupation by promoting dialogue and reflection on the potential of critical epistemology and participatory action approaches to engage with the socio-political construction of injustices.

Objectives for discussion:

  • Challenge the underlying assumptions of occupational justice from a critical perspective to adopt an uptake congruent with calls for transformative aspirations
  • Facilitate discussion around potential avenues to avoiding a slide back into comfortable default stances that fail to interrogate the complex causes that underpin occupational injustice
  • Engage the audience in a dialogue around the opportunities and challenges presented by incorporating participatory action approaches to occupational justice research

References

Durocher, E., Rappolt, S., & Gibson, B. E. (2014). Occupational justice: Future directions. Journal of Occupational Science, 21(4), 431-442. doi:10.1080/14427591.2013.775693

Farias, L., Laliberte Rudman, D., & Magalhães, L. (2016). Illustrating the importance of critical epistemology to realize the promise of occupational justice. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Galheigo, S. M. (2011). Occupational therapy in the social field: Concepts and critical considerations. In F. Kronenberg, N. Pollard, & D. Sakellariou (Eds.), Occupational therapies without borders: Towards an ecology of occupation-based practices (Vol. 2, pp. 47-56). Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier Science.

Malfitano, A. P. S., Lopes, R. E., Magalhães, L., & Townsend, E. A. (2014). Social occupational therapy: Conversations about a Brazilian experience. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81(5), 298-307. doi:10.1177/0008417414536712

Laliberte Rudman, D. (2015). Situating occupation in social relations of power: Occupational possibilities, ageism and the retirement 'choice'. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45(1), 27-33. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2310-3833/2015/v45n1a5

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Sep 30th, 8:30 AM Sep 30th, 10:00 AM

Problematizing the uptake of occupational justice from a critical occupational perspective

Portland Room

Keywords: occupational justice, critical social theory, participatory action research

Purpose/Aim: The critical turn in occupational science has been seeking opportunities to move beyond the level of the individual to transform the socio-material structures that shape situations of occupational injustice (Durocher, Rappolt, & Gibson, 2014; Laliberte Rudman, 2015). However, there appears to be a tension between how occupational justice is often taken up within scholarship and these transformative aspirations (Farias, Laliberte Rudman, & Magalhães, 2016). Thus, in this panel we argue that it is vital to critically reflect on the epistemological assumptions of scholarship taking up the call for occupational justice to avoid neglecting power relations and the socio-political construction of injustice given the historical predominance of an individualizing post-positivist framework (Galheigo, 2011; Laliberte Rudman, 2015; Malfitano, Lopes, Magalhães, & Townsend, 2014).

Methods: To open this dialogue, each panelist will provide critical reflections on occupational science work related to occupational justice. The panelists will draw on various literature and approaches (e.g. critical social theory, participatory action research, quality criteria, transformative scholarship), taking up issues related to types of dichotomous thinking that we need to overcome in order to enact occupational justice, epistemologies that enable us to move away from individualizing issues, new forms of quality criteria to consider, and conceptualizations of the role of ‘science’ that embrace action and advocacy. The session will then be opened to dialogue with the audience to further discuss the meaning and possibilities of occupational justice.

Result or intent: Our intent is to provoke discussion regarding: a) dominant ways occupational justice has been taken up thus far in relation to epistemology and methodology, b) how the assumptions guiding this uptake may create tension with calls for becoming a more critical and socially responsive discipline, and c) how occupational justice could be re-envisioned to bridge the gap between the stated intention of working towards a more just society and the aspirations of critical occupational science.

Argument/importance to occupational science: This panel contributes to the study of occupation by promoting dialogue and reflection on the potential of critical epistemology and participatory action approaches to engage with the socio-political construction of injustices.

Objectives for discussion:

  • Challenge the underlying assumptions of occupational justice from a critical perspective to adopt an uptake congruent with calls for transformative aspirations
  • Facilitate discussion around potential avenues to avoiding a slide back into comfortable default stances that fail to interrogate the complex causes that underpin occupational injustice
  • Engage the audience in a dialogue around the opportunities and challenges presented by incorporating participatory action approaches to occupational justice research