Oppression: Exploring Conceptual Potential in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Oppression-related concepts can deepen understandings about the ways in which occupational potential (Wicks, 2001) can become narrowed. Using these concepts incorporates philosophy and theory developed by Bourdieu, Collins, Freire, Foucault, Gramsci, and Martín-Baró alongside terms such as intersectionality and microaggressions. This critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) explores the use of this theory base in selected occupational therapy and occupational science literature. The authors of the sampled articles (n=25) use oppression-related concepts when describing everyday situations, enhancing theoretical ideas, naming occupational science and/or occupational therapy involvement, and seeking to reduce occurrences of oppression. The CIS results show congruence with Young’s “faces of oppression”, Collins’ model of power, the occupational justice framework, and social occupational therapy. The proposed “oppression lens” may assist occupational therapists and occupational scientists to be effective allies, see permeability between the individual and the community, reimagine client-centredness, create an epistemological “openness”, and increase attention to praxis.