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Other  |   November 2006
The World of Everyday Occupation: Real People, Real Lives
Author Affiliations
  • Betty Risteen Hasselkus, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Emeritus Professor of Occupational Therapy, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 746 Miami Pass, Madison, WI 53711; bh@education.wisc.edu
Article Information
Health and Wellness / 2006 Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture
Other   |   November 2006
The World of Everyday Occupation: Real People, Real Lives
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2006, Vol. 60, 627-640. doi:10.5014/ajot.60.6.627
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2006, Vol. 60, 627-640. doi:10.5014/ajot.60.6.627
Abstract

Everyday occupation is a primary means by which we organize the worlds in which we live. The phenomenological experiences of day-to-day life build meaning and community in our lives; yet everyday occupation is often “seen but unnoticed.” Cultural tendencies and invisible social forces contribute to the obscurity of the everyday and, in severe situations, to occupational deprivation. The purpose of this Slagle lecture is to raise awareness of the complexity and “delicate layerings” of everyday occupation, its theoretical and conceptual underpinnings, the consequences of severe occupational constraints to health and well-being, and the essential relevance of everyday occupation to occupational therapy and occupational science. Everyday occupation related to food is probed in depth to illustrate the richness of day-to-day living. Occupational therapy personnel are encouraged to gain deeper understandings of the importance and meaning of everyday occupation in the lives of clients and the general public, thereby helping people find value in their everyday practices.