The experiences of women as occupational beings

Wells, G. (2018) The experiences of women as occupational beings. In: Royal College of Occupational Therapy Conference 2018, 11/06/2018 - 13/06/2018, Waterfront, Belfast. (Unpublished)

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All people are occupational beings with the right to engage in occupations that they want and need to do; the fulfilment of this right is referred to as occupational justice (Townsend and Wilcock 2014).

Occupational injustice occurs when people are restricted or prevented from engaging in the occupations of their choosing (Durocher et al 2014). Throughout their lives women are expected to fulfil certain roles and occupations because of their gender. This impacts upon the occupational choices that they are able to make and can result in them experiencing occupational injustice.

Drawing on the findings of a PhD study exploring the experience of living alone for 11 women aged 70 – 80 years, this presentation will demonstrate how the gender of a woman influences her experiences as an occupational being. Individual unstructured interviews and photo-elicitation with each of the women generated findings that captured the experiences of the women in their own words and images. This reflects the interpretive phenomenological and feminist philosophical and methodological approaches influencing the design of this study.

The findings provided evidence that the women had experienced occupational injustice earlier in life. However, once living alone in later life they described being able to do what they wanted, when they wanted to do it. Consequently they viewed living alone in later life as a mostly positive experience.
Understanding the complexity of the impact of gender on the experiences of people as occupational beings will contribute to an enhanced understanding of the occupational narrative of an individual.

Gemma has recently completed her PhD in Health and Wellbeing at Canterbury Christ Church University where she is now employed as a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Later life; older women; occupational beings; occupational therapy; feminism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ1101 Women. Feminism
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV1450 Aged
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > RM0695 Physical medicine. Physical therapy > RM0735 Occupational therapy
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Allied Health Professions
Depositing User: Gemma Wells
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2018 08:45
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2018 08:45

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00