Title

What does experience have to do with it? Narrative-phenomenological approaches to social accountability and social justice in occupational science

1

Location

Portland Room

Start Time

30-9-2016 3:00 PM

End Time

30-9-2016 4:30 PM

Session Type

Panel

Abstract

Purpose/aims

The World Health Organization’s original call for social accountability (Boelen & Heck, 1995), or responsivity to priority health concerns as identified by stakeholders, accentuates the need for research methodologies that help identify what matters to particular persons. This panel brings together scholars from diverse practice disciplines who use narrative and phenomenological approaches to understand the relationship between “what really matters” (Kleinman, 2006) and the enactment of the best possible good in the face of uncertainty through everyday, often mundane, actions.

Methodology

Anchored in theoretical resources from philosophy and anthropology, a narrative-phenomenological approach foregrounds individual agency, thus elucidating the ways by which individuals construct their vision of the best good in even the most challenging circumstances. From a narrative perspective, persons make sense of and locate meaning through their creation of significant experiences as part of larger, unfolding projects (Mattingly & Lawlor, 2000). Phenomenology seeks to understand how persons experience such moments in their lifeworlds (van Manen, Higgins, & van der Riet, 2016). Thus, we use a narrative-phenomenological conceptual framework to understand how individuals create significant experiences to re-envision and enact hoped-for possible selves and futures (Mattingly, 2010). In particular, we are interested in how these practices of envisioning and enacting the best good can inform theories on occupational justice.

Results

Drawing from ethnographic and participatory research data, we will examine significant moments and events to explore how: i) children diagnosed with autism achieve a sense of belonging through moving with others; ii) the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach compares to a narrative-phenomenological approach in the study of recovery-oriented mental health services; iii) a mother envisions and enacts a hoped-for future of helping other family members of persons diagnosed with mental illness to “not feel so alone”; iv) mental health service providers and users aim to translate recovery-oriented policy through moral experiments for the best good; and v) youth diagnosed with autism and their families collaboratively construct images of a sensorially inclusive society. By focusing on the relationship between occupational (in)justice, everyday activities, and how particular persons “make a home in the world and make the world a home” (Reilly, 1962, p. 3), we ultimately aim to cultivate discussion of the kinds of methodology that can support the accountability of occupational scientists to the priority concerns of, and as identified by, stakeholders in their own local communities.

Keywords

social accountability, occupational justice, narrative-phenomenological

Discussion Questions

1) How are narratives and stories windows onto unfolding experience?

2) How can the narrative phenomenological approach be adapted to various research questions?

3) How may we cultivate a dialogue about the kinds of research methodologies that can support occupational scientists in being responsive to, and in accordance with, the priority health concerns that are identified by stakeholders in their communities?

References

Boelen, C., & Heck, J. E. (1995). Defining and measuring social accountability of medical schools. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

Kleinman, A. (2006). What really matters: Living a moral life amidst uncertainty and danger. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mattingly, C. (2010). The Paradox of Hope: Journeys through a Clinical Borderland. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Reilly, M. (1962). Occupational therapy can be one of the great ideas of 20th century medicine. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 16(1), 1-9.

van Manen, M., Higgins, I., & van der Riet, P. (2016). A conversation with Max van Manen on phenomenology in its original sense. Nursing and Health Sciences, 18(1), 4-7.

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Sep 30th, 3:00 PM Sep 30th, 4:30 PM

What does experience have to do with it? Narrative-phenomenological approaches to social accountability and social justice in occupational science

Portland Room

Purpose/aims

The World Health Organization’s original call for social accountability (Boelen & Heck, 1995), or responsivity to priority health concerns as identified by stakeholders, accentuates the need for research methodologies that help identify what matters to particular persons. This panel brings together scholars from diverse practice disciplines who use narrative and phenomenological approaches to understand the relationship between “what really matters” (Kleinman, 2006) and the enactment of the best possible good in the face of uncertainty through everyday, often mundane, actions.

Methodology

Anchored in theoretical resources from philosophy and anthropology, a narrative-phenomenological approach foregrounds individual agency, thus elucidating the ways by which individuals construct their vision of the best good in even the most challenging circumstances. From a narrative perspective, persons make sense of and locate meaning through their creation of significant experiences as part of larger, unfolding projects (Mattingly & Lawlor, 2000). Phenomenology seeks to understand how persons experience such moments in their lifeworlds (van Manen, Higgins, & van der Riet, 2016). Thus, we use a narrative-phenomenological conceptual framework to understand how individuals create significant experiences to re-envision and enact hoped-for possible selves and futures (Mattingly, 2010). In particular, we are interested in how these practices of envisioning and enacting the best good can inform theories on occupational justice.

Results

Drawing from ethnographic and participatory research data, we will examine significant moments and events to explore how: i) children diagnosed with autism achieve a sense of belonging through moving with others; ii) the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach compares to a narrative-phenomenological approach in the study of recovery-oriented mental health services; iii) a mother envisions and enacts a hoped-for future of helping other family members of persons diagnosed with mental illness to “not feel so alone”; iv) mental health service providers and users aim to translate recovery-oriented policy through moral experiments for the best good; and v) youth diagnosed with autism and their families collaboratively construct images of a sensorially inclusive society. By focusing on the relationship between occupational (in)justice, everyday activities, and how particular persons “make a home in the world and make the world a home” (Reilly, 1962, p. 3), we ultimately aim to cultivate discussion of the kinds of methodology that can support the accountability of occupational scientists to the priority concerns of, and as identified by, stakeholders in their own local communities.

Keywords

social accountability, occupational justice, narrative-phenomenological

Discussion Questions

1) How are narratives and stories windows onto unfolding experience?

2) How can the narrative phenomenological approach be adapted to various research questions?

3) How may we cultivate a dialogue about the kinds of research methodologies that can support occupational scientists in being responsive to, and in accordance with, the priority health concerns that are identified by stakeholders in their communities?