Title

Making Visible the Ruling Relations of Participation in Occupation for Institutionalized Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

1

Location

Regency Room

Start Time

1-10-2016 1:30 PM

End Time

1-10-2016 2:30 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Statement of Purpose: Institutionalized adults with intellectual disabilities (ID), a disability community who has a long history of enduring grave injustices and whose voices have been absent in occupational science discourse, continue to face barriers to meaningful participation in occupation (Mahoney, Roberts, Bryze, & Parker Kent, 2016). Additionally, adults with ID are impacted by policies designed with inconsistent and contradictory values influenced by the concurrent adoption of principles from various models of practice and constructions of disability (Channon, 2014); therefore, there is a need to better understand how opportunities for meaningful participation for adults with ID are situated within and influenced by these systems and ruling relations. This paper draws on data from an institutional ethnographic study aimed to make visible the inter-relational ways national, state, and local policies mediate the possibilities for meaningful participation in occupation for adults with ID.
Methods:
Institutional ethnography (Smith, 2005) was used as the social theory and methodology for this study. The aim of institutional ethnography is to make visible the systems and social relationships through which occupations emerge and are coordinated (Prodinger, Rudman, & Shaw, 2015). Data were collected at a residential facility. Participants included seven adults diagnosed with profound ID and eight adult staff members. Participant observation, ethnographic interviews, and text work were the main sources of data. Narrative analysis was used to systematically relate meanings and interpretations of participants’ experiences to particular narratives on work in an institutional setting. Mapping, as a second analytic process, was used to analyze institutional practices and connect them back to the policies that coordinated work and other activities of the center (Campbell & Gregor, 2004).
Results: Analyses revealed the systems and structures through which staff work was coordinated created a systematic regulation of participation in meaningful occupation. More specifically, analyses demonstrated how institutional policies placed greater value on routinization and efficiency over self-determined participation. These findings not only highlight the lack of opportunities for residents and staff to incorporate occupations of their choosing, they call attention to the ways institutional routinization is a perpetuation of the historical notions of what adults with ID should do.
Implications for Occupational Science: This study contributes enhanced knowledge about the lived experiences of institutionalized adults with ID and how opportunities to participate in occupations are supported or thwarted by textually-mediated social practices, and challenges the discipline’s theoretical assumptions on participation.

Key words: participation, ruling relations, institutional ethnography

Discussion Questions:
1. Smith (2005) asserts that social control is increasingly discursive and textual. How might occupational scientists use mapping as a tool to address critical issues of choice and participation?
2. How does Smith’s (2005) construct of “ruling relations” add to our conceptualization of participation? Have occupational scientists given adequate attention to how texts impact participation?
3. This year’s conference theme charges the discipline to navigate the seas of change. I would argue that one way to increase the diversity of occupation (and participation) is to expand the ways we capture experience. What are your thoughts on the contributions of narrative as method and narrative as analysis in occupational science?

References

Campbell, M., & Gregor, F. (2004). Mapping social relations: A primer in doing institutional ethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press.

Channon, A. (2014). Intellectual disability and activity engagement: Exploring the literature from an occupational perspective. Journal of Occupational Science, 21(4), 443-458.

Mahoney, W., Roberts, E., Bryze, K., & Parker Kent, J. (2016). Brief Report – Occupational engagement and adults with intellectual disabilities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70, 7001350030p1 – 7001350030p6.

Prodinger, B., Laliberte Rudman, D., & Shaw, L. (2015). Institutional ethnography: Studying the situated nature of human occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 22(1), 71-81.

Smith, D. (2005). Institutional ethnography: A sociology for people. Toronto: Alta Mira Press.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 1st, 1:30 PM Oct 1st, 2:30 PM

Making Visible the Ruling Relations of Participation in Occupation for Institutionalized Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Regency Room

Statement of Purpose: Institutionalized adults with intellectual disabilities (ID), a disability community who has a long history of enduring grave injustices and whose voices have been absent in occupational science discourse, continue to face barriers to meaningful participation in occupation (Mahoney, Roberts, Bryze, & Parker Kent, 2016). Additionally, adults with ID are impacted by policies designed with inconsistent and contradictory values influenced by the concurrent adoption of principles from various models of practice and constructions of disability (Channon, 2014); therefore, there is a need to better understand how opportunities for meaningful participation for adults with ID are situated within and influenced by these systems and ruling relations. This paper draws on data from an institutional ethnographic study aimed to make visible the inter-relational ways national, state, and local policies mediate the possibilities for meaningful participation in occupation for adults with ID.
Methods:
Institutional ethnography (Smith, 2005) was used as the social theory and methodology for this study. The aim of institutional ethnography is to make visible the systems and social relationships through which occupations emerge and are coordinated (Prodinger, Rudman, & Shaw, 2015). Data were collected at a residential facility. Participants included seven adults diagnosed with profound ID and eight adult staff members. Participant observation, ethnographic interviews, and text work were the main sources of data. Narrative analysis was used to systematically relate meanings and interpretations of participants’ experiences to particular narratives on work in an institutional setting. Mapping, as a second analytic process, was used to analyze institutional practices and connect them back to the policies that coordinated work and other activities of the center (Campbell & Gregor, 2004).
Results: Analyses revealed the systems and structures through which staff work was coordinated created a systematic regulation of participation in meaningful occupation. More specifically, analyses demonstrated how institutional policies placed greater value on routinization and efficiency over self-determined participation. These findings not only highlight the lack of opportunities for residents and staff to incorporate occupations of their choosing, they call attention to the ways institutional routinization is a perpetuation of the historical notions of what adults with ID should do.
Implications for Occupational Science: This study contributes enhanced knowledge about the lived experiences of institutionalized adults with ID and how opportunities to participate in occupations are supported or thwarted by textually-mediated social practices, and challenges the discipline’s theoretical assumptions on participation.

Key words: participation, ruling relations, institutional ethnography

Discussion Questions:
1. Smith (2005) asserts that social control is increasingly discursive and textual. How might occupational scientists use mapping as a tool to address critical issues of choice and participation?
2. How does Smith’s (2005) construct of “ruling relations” add to our conceptualization of participation? Have occupational scientists given adequate attention to how texts impact participation?
3. This year’s conference theme charges the discipline to navigate the seas of change. I would argue that one way to increase the diversity of occupation (and participation) is to expand the ways we capture experience. What are your thoughts on the contributions of narrative as method and narrative as analysis in occupational science?