Title

Mapping occupational engagement during long-term unemployment: Interconnections and cross-national comparisons of people, places and performances

1

Location

Studio 2

Start Time

21-10-2017 9:30 AM

End Time

21-10-2017 11:00 AM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Statement of Purpose: This presentation will report one set of findings from a two-sited, multi-year study of long-term unemployment. Rates of long-term unemployment remain higher than pre-recession estimates despite North American economies’ return to nearly full employment. To understand possibilities and boundaries for occupational engagement within the situation of long-term unemployment, we generated data at three levels in the United States and Canada: we interviewed 15 organizational stakeholders and reviewed organizational documents; we interviewed and observed 18 front-line employment support service providers; and we interviewed, observed, and completed time diaries and/or occupational maps with 23 people who self-identified as being long-term unemployed. In this presentation, we report findings from the occupational mapping process used with 18 participants.

Methods: Occupational mapping is an elicitation method that is as much about process as it is about product. In our study, we asked participants to hand draw a map to explain the places they regularly traveled within their communities. We prompted participants to describe what was being drawn, the places depicted, activities engaged in within particular places, and modes of travel used. Once the map was completed, we asked participants to reflect on if and how their experience of long-term unemployment had implications for where they went, how they got to places, and the types of activities they needed and wanted to do. We audio-recorded all conversations during the mapping process. Our ongoing analyses of maps and accompanying transcriptions address the types of places and occupations represented; the ways in which maps and transcriptions illuminate social, political, and economic influences on occupation in each study context; common threads between maps; and omissions in maps.

Results: We will present emerging findings from our occupational mapping process in relation to national context, gender, financial and transportation resources, and family situation. We will also integrate these findings with understandings gained through other analytic approaches used in the study, such as situational analysis and critical narrative inquiry.

Implications: Occupational mapping can elicit details about everyday doing that are difficult to articulate using narrative methods given the tacit and experiential nature of daily occupations. It can be a useful strategy for understanding interconnections between people, places, and performances of everyday occupations in line with calls to transcend individual perspectives in occupational science. Our findings suggest that this method is a valuable means of illuminating the transactional person-environment relationships that shape occupational engagement during contemporary long-term unemployment.

Discussion questions:

  1. In what ways can occupational mapping augment other data generation and analysis approaches?
  2. How does occupational mapping fit within larger efforts to transcend individual perspectives in occupational science?
  3. Within a multi-level, cross-national study of long-term unemployment, what kinds of understandings does occupational mapping yield?

Key words: Occupational mapping, long-term unemployment, critical qualitative research

References

Aldrich, R. M. & Laliberte Rudman, D. (2016). Situational analysis: A visual analytic approach to unpack the complexity of occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 23(1), 51-66. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2015.1045014.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016). Labor force statistics from the Current Population Survey: Number unemployed for 27 weeks or over. Retrieved from https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost

Huot, S. L., & Laliberte Rudman, D. (2015). Extending beyond qualitative interviewing to illuminate the tacit nature of everyday occupation. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research: Occupation, Participation, and Health, 35(3), 142-150.

Laliberte Rudman, D. & Aldrich, R. M. (2016). ‘Activated, but stuck’: Applying a critical occupational lens to examine the negotiation of long-term unemployment in contemporary socio-political contexts. Societies, 6(28), 1-17. doi: 10.3390/soc6030028

Statistics Canada. (2016). Table282-0048. Labour Force Survey estimates (LFS), duration of unemployment by sex and age group, annual (persons unless otherwise noted). CANSIM (database). Retrieved from http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&id=2820048

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Oct 21st, 9:30 AM Oct 21st, 11:00 AM

Mapping occupational engagement during long-term unemployment: Interconnections and cross-national comparisons of people, places and performances

Studio 2

Statement of Purpose: This presentation will report one set of findings from a two-sited, multi-year study of long-term unemployment. Rates of long-term unemployment remain higher than pre-recession estimates despite North American economies’ return to nearly full employment. To understand possibilities and boundaries for occupational engagement within the situation of long-term unemployment, we generated data at three levels in the United States and Canada: we interviewed 15 organizational stakeholders and reviewed organizational documents; we interviewed and observed 18 front-line employment support service providers; and we interviewed, observed, and completed time diaries and/or occupational maps with 23 people who self-identified as being long-term unemployed. In this presentation, we report findings from the occupational mapping process used with 18 participants.

Methods: Occupational mapping is an elicitation method that is as much about process as it is about product. In our study, we asked participants to hand draw a map to explain the places they regularly traveled within their communities. We prompted participants to describe what was being drawn, the places depicted, activities engaged in within particular places, and modes of travel used. Once the map was completed, we asked participants to reflect on if and how their experience of long-term unemployment had implications for where they went, how they got to places, and the types of activities they needed and wanted to do. We audio-recorded all conversations during the mapping process. Our ongoing analyses of maps and accompanying transcriptions address the types of places and occupations represented; the ways in which maps and transcriptions illuminate social, political, and economic influences on occupation in each study context; common threads between maps; and omissions in maps.

Results: We will present emerging findings from our occupational mapping process in relation to national context, gender, financial and transportation resources, and family situation. We will also integrate these findings with understandings gained through other analytic approaches used in the study, such as situational analysis and critical narrative inquiry.

Implications: Occupational mapping can elicit details about everyday doing that are difficult to articulate using narrative methods given the tacit and experiential nature of daily occupations. It can be a useful strategy for understanding interconnections between people, places, and performances of everyday occupations in line with calls to transcend individual perspectives in occupational science. Our findings suggest that this method is a valuable means of illuminating the transactional person-environment relationships that shape occupational engagement during contemporary long-term unemployment.

Discussion questions:

  1. In what ways can occupational mapping augment other data generation and analysis approaches?
  2. How does occupational mapping fit within larger efforts to transcend individual perspectives in occupational science?
  3. Within a multi-level, cross-national study of long-term unemployment, what kinds of understandings does occupational mapping yield?

Key words: Occupational mapping, long-term unemployment, critical qualitative research