Social Transformation through Occupation

Our network views ‘social transformation through occupation’ as an evolving, dynamic approach that encompasses diverse practices that are responsive to contextual features at local to global scales. Given this, we propose a very broad description of ‘social transformation through occupation’ to provide an initial basis from which to build the network, and to form partnerships with various stakeholders and organizations committed to social transformation.

This broad description, which has evolved out of our on-going research and workshops, proposes that ‘social transformation through occupation’ refers to various approaches that focus on using occupation as a means to restructure practices, systems and structures, so as to ameliorate occupational and social inequities. Drawing on what has been termed an occupational lens within the profession of occupational therapy and the discipline of occupational science, occupation refers to the various types of everyday doings, or everyday activities, that individuals and collectives participate in, which can be a means to support health, well-being and flourishing at individual to societal levels. Within approaches to ‘social transformation through occupation’, occupation can be both a means for, and target of, social transformation. Drawing on UNESCO, the term social transformation “incorporates the change of existing parameters of a societal system, including technological, economic, political and cultural restructuring”. (UNESCO http://www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/international-migration/glossary/social-transformation/).

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