The embodied sensory experiences of latino migrants to smalltown, North Carolina

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Latino migration to the United States has substantially increased in past decades. This paper presents findings from an ethnographic study with the migrant Latino community of Smalltown (pseudonym), North Carolina. Analyses of participant observations and semi-structured interviews found that Latinos experienced sensory issues during their occupations in Smalltown. Occupational science has primarily focused on the conscious experience of sensation during occupation. The Smalltown study proposes that sensory issues can impose a substantial and unconscious effect on experiences of occupation. Findings suggest that study participants embodied their sensory experiences with occupations through repeated participation in specific sensory environments. The embodiment of past occupational experiences fostered the development of particular sensory expectations during occupation, the absence of which was associated with feelings of loss of well-being. Moreover, migrants' occupations occurred through multisensory environments such that sensations were felt with innumerable additional sensations. Difficulty replicating the multisensory qualities of past occupations affected experiences of well-being during present occupations. This paper suggests occupational science would benefit from additional focus on the pre-cognitive or unconscious elements of occupation and their impact on the lived experience of occupation. © 2013 The Journal of Occupational Science Incorporated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bailliard, AL

Published Date

  • June 10, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 120 - 130

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2158-1576

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1442-7591

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/14427591.2013.774931

Citation Source

  • Scopus