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The professionalization of occupational therapy: a continuing challenge

Clouston, Teena Jayne ORCID: and Whitcombe, Steven William ORCID: 2008. The professionalization of occupational therapy: a continuing challenge. British Journal of Occupational Therapy 71 (8) , pp. 314-320.

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Professions are socially constructed phenomena. Accordingly, an understanding of what is meant by a profession, with its associated social positioning and how that is interpreted, is governed by historical, temporal, cultural and ideological influences. For occupational therapy, such an understanding can be a real challenge. This is because of a dichotomy between its ontological, person-centred approach and the medically dominated constructs prevalent in the professionalisation of all caring professions and still inherent in health care arenas today (Etzioni 1969, Fairhurst 1981, Rivett 1997, Freidson 2001). As a consequence of this traditionally accepted dominance and the roles ascribed to or enabled by this positioning, the professional identity of occupational therapy can be limited by the politics of power at the organisational level. This can shape how occupational therapy is understood, not only by significant others but also by the profession itself. Professional consistency and cohesion, both inside and outside the profession, could therefore be challenged, unless individual actors, organisational attitudes and social constructs change. There is a need both to confront and to accept the ever-changing nature of professionalism and the meaning of occupation in the postmodern world.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists
ISSN: 0308-0226
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 01:47

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