Silences around occupations framed as unhealthy, illegal, and deviant
Laliberte Rudman, Debbie
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Occupational science has made tremendous strides in establishing a theoretical and empirical knowledge base grounded in the study of occupation. Yet given its origins in occupational therapy, a health profession aimed at enhancing health and well-being through engagement in meaningful and purposeful occupation, there has been sustained focus on the health-enhancing qualities of occupation. This has effectively silenced a significant realm of human experience: namely, occupations that are considered within dominant worldviews and societal groups to be unhealthy, illegal, and/or deviant. Our intent in this paper is to both explicate why attention to non-sanctioned occupations is important as a means to diversify perspectives on occupation, and point to key framing concepts, such as deviance, hegemony, and resistance, for such scholarship. We emphasize that examinations of this nature evoke critical reflection on underlying disciplinary assumptions, enactments of social power, and values and moral standpoints that inform knowledge production in occupational science, helping to diversify understandings of occupation itself.
Kiepek, N., Beagan, B., Laliberte Rudman, D. & Phelan, S. (2019, July). Silences around occupations framed as unhealthy, illegal, and deviant. Journal of Occupational Science, 26(3), 341-353. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2018.1499123 (available online 27 Jul 2018)