Occupation in occupational therapy, a political perspective

POLLARD, Nicholas (2013). Occupation in occupational therapy, a political perspective. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

Occupational therapy is broadly about the experience of ‘doing’ as the basis of human participation. This requires access to the means of participation: space, facilities and resources for different forms of human action. People who have experienced disability are frequently prevented from engaging in activities which other people can access, and can benefit from. Their rights to social participation at all levels are restricted, and this is a political aspect of their impairment - something that is recognized in feminist discourse in the recognition of the relationship between the personal and the political. Consequently rehabilitation has a dimension which is not just about restoring or adapting function, but also about addressing the social and political circumstances which produce barriers to occupation. The submitted works discuss a rights based approach to human occupation, which in turn derives from a narrative understanding of ‘doing’ as an individual and collective expression of actions. My most significant and original contributions to occupational therapy and occupational science concern the development of an argument for the understanding of a political dimension to human occupation. These works are accompanied by research papers which evidence some aspects of my theories. In its concentration on clinical and medically led objectives the profession has infrequently recognized the relationship between health conditions and the wider issues of social and economic disparities. Part of my work has called attention to the systematic nature of exclusions which prevent access to meaningful and purposeful occupation, and calls for therapists to work with their clients not only in terms of traditional intervention, but to address them through political alliance.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Published works submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Sheffield Hallam University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy on the basis of published work
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 08:48
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2017 18:37
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17029

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