Conference Speech
Plymouth, 08.09.2011
Birgit Prodinger
Christine Sontag

Gesundheit und Agency: Using an occupational science perspective to shape human societies – Making our distinct perspective explicit

We, as Occupational Therapists and Occupational Scientists, have referred to various disciplines (e.g. philosophy, sociology, psychology) in our generated and applied knowledge on human occupation. We add a very distinct perspective though, given our understanding that occupation and health are strongly interwoven, our commitment to enabling occupations, and tacit knowledge from clinical expertise. However, this perspective is not necessarily widely acknowledged amongst other disciplines.

We argue that we have to clearly articulate our distinct perspective, our sources of knowledge and social mandate, to position ourselves as equal academic discipline within the interdisciplinary discourse of the humanities, social and natural sciences. Subsequently, Occupational Science will be empowered to realize its potential to play a major role in shaping human societies, including its social and health care systems, with human beings as occupational beings at its core. logo_etverbandParticularly in countries where Occupational Therapy has only recently moved to university-level and Occupational Science is slowly emerging, this clear articulation is needed.

How this process can be facilitated is illustrated through a national task force. The task force, funded by the ifz and the Austrian OT Association, is developing a position paper on OT/OS in the context of the interdisciplinary discourse.

Homepage of the Occupational Science Conference: OTs Owning Occupation