A communal perspective of occupation: Community change in a senior center welcoming Spanish-speaking immigrants
Occupational scientists across the globe are increasingly attending to social change and its connection to occupation and communities. The discipline is actively studying the role of communal everyday doing in social movements, community development, and systemic transformation. This paper describes a 6-month enthnographic study that explored community change at a senior center as it welcomed Spanish-speaking older adults into its programming and spaces. Data collection was informed by both pragmatist and critical theoretical perspectives to explore communal change in a manner that honored the potency of societal power structures without dismissing human agency. Focusing on communal processes of occupation during semi-structured individual interviews and participatory group community mapping revealed complex and interwoven sociopolitical relationships among the community. Additionally, this communal perspective of occupation seemed to contribute to rapid action toward positive community change. A communal perspective of occupation shows promise in further understanding how communities change and the role occupational science may have in contributing to positive community development.
Lavalley, R; Bailliard, A
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