Action theories for occupational science: The contributions of Dewey and Bourdieu

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Occupational scientists have argued that occupation implies action, but they have not produced sufficient analyses of action theories as potential bases for understanding occupation. We describe this situation and the corresponding need to theorize action as a necessary step for more carefully and powerfully conceptualizing occupation. To begin addressing the problem and need, we provide an analysis of two theorists, John Dewey and Pierre Bourdieu, whose writings about action may be applied to deepen understandings of occupation. Our analysis focuses on three dimensions of action common to both scholars’ theories—habit, context, and creativity. In comparing and contrasting the theories, we find them largely in agreement but also complementary. Through a discussion of the theories via these dimensions, we extend and deepen the transactional view of occupation. In addition, we offer a conceptualization of occupation consistent with the two theorists’ works. © 2008 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cutchin, MP; Aldrich, RM; Bailliard, AL; Coppola, S

Published Date

  • January 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 157 - 165

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2158-1576

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1442-7591

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/14427591.2008.9686625

Citation Source

  • Scopus