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Autoethnography in occupational science: me, we or they?

Stanley, K. and Ellis-Hill, C., 2011. Autoethnography in occupational science: me, we or they? In: Occupational Science: OTs Owning Occupation, 8 - 9 Sept 2011, Plymouth University, Plymouth. (Unpublished)

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Studies of engagement in occupation have involved small group of individuals (Carin-Levy and Jones, 2007), ‘they’ or the occupational scientist/therapist themselves, (Taylor, 2008), ‘me’. My PhD research into “creative writing as an occupation” proposes an integrated approach combining autoethnography with collaborative group exploration of narratives to gain the perspective of the ‘we’. The exploration of an occupation by those who participate in it, including one who has a perspective as an occupational therapist will contribute to a deep understanding of the range of personal and sociocultural meanings (Creek, 2010) and will seek to frame the findings in occupational terms. This approach steps into a wider debate about ‘Heartful’ autoethnography, where evocative narratives ‘create the effect of reality’ (Ellis, 1999, p. 669) versus analytic autoethnography, where the researcher, a member of the research group has the specific aim of developing theoretical understanding (Anderson, 2006). Ellis and Bochner (2006) challenge the need for this analytical shift arguing that theorising or generalizing from autoethnography by using traditional analysis negates the way stories work. Through framing questions in occupational terms the narrative stories gathered will both speak for themselves and highlight occupational experience in a way that is immediately relatable to practising therapists. Anderson, L. 2006. Analytic Autoethnography. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 35(4), 373-395. Carin-Levy, G. and Jones, D., 2007. Psychosocial Aspects of Scuba Diving for People with Physical Disabilities: an occupational science perspective. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(1), 6-14. Creek, J., 2010. The Core Concepts of Occupational Therapy: a dynamic framework for practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Ellis, C. 1999. Heartful Autoethnography. Qualitative Health Research. 9(5), 669-683. Ellis, C.S. and Bochner, A.P. 2006. Analyzing Analytic Autoethnography: an autopsy. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 35(4), 429-449. Taylor, J. 2008. An autoethnographic exploration of an occupation: doing a PhD. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(5), 176-184.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:The accompanying Prezi can be located on the following link:
Uncontrolled Keywords:Occupational Science, Autoethnography
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:18550
Deposited By: Miss Kirsty Stanley LEFT
Deposited On:06 Oct 2011 09:08
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:40


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