Meaning making through occupations and occupational roles: a heuristic study of worker-writer histories

IKIUGU, Moses, POLLARD, Nicholas, CROSS, Audrey, WILLER, Megan, EVERSON, Jenna and STOCKLAND, Jeanie (2012). Meaning making through occupations and occupational roles: a heuristic study of worker-writer histories. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75 (6), 289-295.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802212X13383757345229
Link to published version:: 10.4276/030802212X13383757345229

Abstract

Introduction: Occupations are recognised in occupational therapy and occupational science literature as vehicles to meaning and wellbeing. Yet, the question of how they are used to create meaning has not been investigated exhaustively. In this study, the researchers explored the life histories of worker-writers in the United Kingdom. These writers considered themselves as representatives of the most numerous but marginalised social class. The researchers considered how the worker-writers derived life meaning from their occupations and occupational roles.

Method: Using heuristic research methods, 34 published autobiographies were analysed to elicit themes illuminating how meaning was created by the worker-writers through occupations and occupational roles.

Results: Five themes emerged from the analysis. Worker-writers created meaning by engaging in occupations and occupational roles that fostered family life and other meaningful relationships; a sense of control over their lives; meaningful leisure pursuits; a contribution to or connection to greater causes; and a sense of wellbeing. Conclusion: No claims are being made in this study about the generalisability of the findings to clinical practice. However, occupational therapists may consider exploring ways of helping clients engage in occupations reflecting themes that emerged from the study, as a way of helping them to reconstruct their lives following life-changing events or conditions.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: 10.4276/030802212X13383757345229
Depositing User: Rebecca Jones
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2012 12:48
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2012 12:48
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5633

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