An autoethnographic exploration of an occupation: Doing a PhD

Taylor, JA 2008, 'An autoethnographic exploration of an occupation: Doing a PhD' , British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71 (5) , pp. 176-184.

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The systematic and detailed study of occupations is challenging to occupational therapists, who would wish to understand better their meanings and therapeutic value. Such a study must attempt to capture the complexities of occupational form and performance, recognising occupations as spatially, socially and temporally situated phenomena that are culturally recognised and individually experienced. Autoethnography is a methodological approach in which the researcher is the focus of the research. It offers a way of accessing personal experience by focusing on physical artefacts, documentary evidence and reflections, and so is particularly useful for studying the complexity of occupational engagement. With ‘doing-a-PhD’ as its focus, this study used autoethnography to explore the subjective experience of engagement with an occupation in order to understand better its complexity, meaning and possible therapeutic value. The findings are presented under six headings, which explore the personal and social aspects of the occupation, the ways in which it interfaces with the contexts of time and space, its relationship with other occupations and roles, and the process of transformation that it brings about. The limitations of the approach are discussed and the implications of the study for occupational therapists are proposed.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0308-0226
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr Jackie Taylor
Date Deposited: 29 May 2013 09:21
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 14:52

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