Title

Telling Others’ Stories: An Ethical Exploration

1

Location

Great Room 1A & 1B

Start Time

20-10-2017 3:00 PM

End Time

20-10-2017 4:30 PM

Session Type

Forum

Abstract

Aims/Intent: The aims of this forum are to illuminate considerations of everyday ethics (Mattingly, 2014) inherent in conveying the stories of others for pedagogical and research purposes, such as how to identify the roles and responsibilities of those who share their personal stories, those who tell the stories of others, and those who listen and how to notice and resolve the subtle, often unrecognized, everyday dilemmas in deciding what is the “best good” among, often competing, perspectives and stakes in portraying the stories of “other” (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997). As a springboard for this discussion, the second author will share her own experience as a mother, caregiver, and educator telling a story to occupational therapy students about the role of occupation in the life of the first author (her daughter), a woman living with multiple mental and physical conditions, that incorporated the first author’s written and spoken words and photographs of her intimate experiences. The subsequent discussion will explore everyday ethical issues relating to truth, voice, ownership, and power in safeguarding occupational identity in the use of first-person narratives.

Rationale: There is long-held recognition of the imperative for truth and accuracy in representing the voices of those who live with mental and physical health conditions in order to understand illness experiences (Kleinman, 1988) in addition to a diagnosis. However, we believe that there are multiple practices and beliefs which are frequently invoked in using first-person accounts that would benefit from greater in-depth exploration and critical reflection on the everyday ethical issues that such a task entails. These include how we decide what is the “best good” in interpreting and shaping or re-presenting these particular experiences into stories that can call to (Coles, 1988) and invoke action for particular purposes and particular audiences (Mattingly & Garro, 2000).

Potential Outcomes for Participants: This forum contributes to the development of our everyday ethical considerations of the representation of experience for occupational science. Participants will critically reflect on and gain a greater knowledge of the everyday ethical considerations and dilemmas involved when including first-person narratives in education and research.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the implications and ramifications of shaping the stories of others for a particular education or research purpose including the cultural, political, and structural inequities that may be heightened when re-situating the context of a story from a local to an institutional one? What does it mean when one person gives another person permission to use his/her story? What are the responsibilities of the story owner, story teller, and story listener? What happens when the purpose of telling the story becomes more important than the story itself? As story tellers, how do we negotiate conflicting needs of the person whose story we are telling and our audience?

2. Where does the truth of a story lie? Is it within a single perspective or multiple perspectives? What are the reasons for and implications of leaving out other perspectives or bringing them in? What are the implications of learning from stories that are told without the full context of an individual’s life?

3. What are the implications of copyrighting the stories of others? What does it mean when story owners are required to give away the rights to their stories in order to for them to be shared more widely?

4. In occupational science’s efforts to create order, are we leaving out too many disorderly parts?

Key Words: everyday ethics, occupational identity, narrative, photography

References

Lawrence-Lightfoot, S., & Davis, J. H. (1997). The art and science of portraiture. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Coles, R. (1989). The call of stories: Teaching and the moral imagination. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Kleinman, A. (1988). The illness narratives: Suffering, healing and the human condition. USA: Basic Books.

Mattingly, C. (2014). Moral laboratories: Family peril and the struggle for a good life. Oakland: University of California Press.

Mattingly, C., & Garro, L. C. (Eds.). (2000). Narrative and the cultural construction of illness and healing. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

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Oct 20th, 3:00 PM Oct 20th, 4:30 PM

Telling Others’ Stories: An Ethical Exploration

Great Room 1A & 1B

Aims/Intent: The aims of this forum are to illuminate considerations of everyday ethics (Mattingly, 2014) inherent in conveying the stories of others for pedagogical and research purposes, such as how to identify the roles and responsibilities of those who share their personal stories, those who tell the stories of others, and those who listen and how to notice and resolve the subtle, often unrecognized, everyday dilemmas in deciding what is the “best good” among, often competing, perspectives and stakes in portraying the stories of “other” (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997). As a springboard for this discussion, the second author will share her own experience as a mother, caregiver, and educator telling a story to occupational therapy students about the role of occupation in the life of the first author (her daughter), a woman living with multiple mental and physical conditions, that incorporated the first author’s written and spoken words and photographs of her intimate experiences. The subsequent discussion will explore everyday ethical issues relating to truth, voice, ownership, and power in safeguarding occupational identity in the use of first-person narratives.

Rationale: There is long-held recognition of the imperative for truth and accuracy in representing the voices of those who live with mental and physical health conditions in order to understand illness experiences (Kleinman, 1988) in addition to a diagnosis. However, we believe that there are multiple practices and beliefs which are frequently invoked in using first-person accounts that would benefit from greater in-depth exploration and critical reflection on the everyday ethical issues that such a task entails. These include how we decide what is the “best good” in interpreting and shaping or re-presenting these particular experiences into stories that can call to (Coles, 1988) and invoke action for particular purposes and particular audiences (Mattingly & Garro, 2000).

Potential Outcomes for Participants: This forum contributes to the development of our everyday ethical considerations of the representation of experience for occupational science. Participants will critically reflect on and gain a greater knowledge of the everyday ethical considerations and dilemmas involved when including first-person narratives in education and research.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the implications and ramifications of shaping the stories of others for a particular education or research purpose including the cultural, political, and structural inequities that may be heightened when re-situating the context of a story from a local to an institutional one? What does it mean when one person gives another person permission to use his/her story? What are the responsibilities of the story owner, story teller, and story listener? What happens when the purpose of telling the story becomes more important than the story itself? As story tellers, how do we negotiate conflicting needs of the person whose story we are telling and our audience?

2. Where does the truth of a story lie? Is it within a single perspective or multiple perspectives? What are the reasons for and implications of leaving out other perspectives or bringing them in? What are the implications of learning from stories that are told without the full context of an individual’s life?

3. What are the implications of copyrighting the stories of others? What does it mean when story owners are required to give away the rights to their stories in order to for them to be shared more widely?

4. In occupational science’s efforts to create order, are we leaving out too many disorderly parts?

Key Words: everyday ethics, occupational identity, narrative, photography