Identity construction and participation in work : learning from the experiences of persons with psychiatric disability

Van Niekerk, Lana (2016-03)

CITAITON: Van Niekerk, L. 2016. Identity construction and participation in work: Learning from the experiences of persons with psychiatric disability, Scandinavian Journal of Ocupational Therapy, 23(2):107-114.

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ENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: In this article constructions of identity, occupation and performance are explored with a particular focus on the interrelatedness of these concepts. Insights were derived from a study in which the influences that impact on the work-lives of people with psychiatric disability were explored. Method: An interpretive biography design was utilised. Data construction took the form of narrative interviews and a combination of paradigmatic narrative analysis and narrative analysis was used. Participants, selected by means of purposive maximum variation sampling, had been diagnosed with psychiatric impairment and lived in the Western Cape, South Africa. Findings and discussion: Identity construction processes were explored, with a particular focus on how these impacted on decisions about participation in work. Conclusions: Performance elements of identity, called forth by occupational demands, occurring within work environments were found to be shaped through, and expressed as, doing. The notion of Punctualized Identity was shown to provide a lens that is able to capture the dynamic interplay of identity constructs and provide a synthesised perspective on participation.

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