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Challenging conceptualisations of work : Revisiting contemporary experiences of return to work and unemployment

Asaba, Eric LU ; Aldrich, Rebecca M. ; Gabrielsson, Hanna ; Ekstam, Lisa LU and Farias, Lisette (2021) In Journal of Occupational Science 28(1). p.81-94
Abstract

This article draws on empirically derived illustrations of return to work and unemployment to critically explore how a narrow understanding of work pervades contemporary social policies and programmes. This is particularly relevant in economic and labour market transitions aligned with neoliberalism that individualise the social problem of unemployment and thus restrict occupational possibilities related to work. An overview of how work and related concepts have been conceptualised in occupational science scholarship is presented. After describing the theoretical orientation of the paper, three illustrations derived from a secondary analysis of data from projects conducted in Sweden and the United States are presented. The three... (More)

This article draws on empirically derived illustrations of return to work and unemployment to critically explore how a narrow understanding of work pervades contemporary social policies and programmes. This is particularly relevant in economic and labour market transitions aligned with neoliberalism that individualise the social problem of unemployment and thus restrict occupational possibilities related to work. An overview of how work and related concepts have been conceptualised in occupational science scholarship is presented. After describing the theoretical orientation of the paper, three illustrations derived from a secondary analysis of data from projects conducted in Sweden and the United States are presented. The three empirically grounded illustrations are integrated with theory to highlight tensions between the politically informed structures that shape social policies and programmes and the individual experiences of work, unemployment, and return to work that users and providers of these programmes communicate. By asserting that success in work-related placement programmes is not synonymous with meaningful employment, we attempt to heighten awareness of the potential risks associated with a reliance on measuring work by merely being in paid formal employment.

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author
; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Critical occupational science, Labour market, Return to work, Unemployment
in
Journal of Occupational Science
volume
28
issue
1
pages
81 - 94
publisher
School of Occupational Therapy
external identifiers
  • scopus:85091604932
ISSN
1442-7591
DOI
10.1080/14427591.2020.1820896
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
95569cfd-0252-44ca-b439-85f25bb8432d
date added to LUP
2020-11-02 10:05:47
date last changed
2021-04-16 11:42:34
@article{95569cfd-0252-44ca-b439-85f25bb8432d,
  abstract     = {<p>This article draws on empirically derived illustrations of return to work and unemployment to critically explore how a narrow understanding of work pervades contemporary social policies and programmes. This is particularly relevant in economic and labour market transitions aligned with neoliberalism that individualise the social problem of unemployment and thus restrict occupational possibilities related to work. An overview of how work and related concepts have been conceptualised in occupational science scholarship is presented. After describing the theoretical orientation of the paper, three illustrations derived from a secondary analysis of data from projects conducted in Sweden and the United States are presented. The three empirically grounded illustrations are integrated with theory to highlight tensions between the politically informed structures that shape social policies and programmes and the individual experiences of work, unemployment, and return to work that users and providers of these programmes communicate. By asserting that success in work-related placement programmes is not synonymous with meaningful employment, we attempt to heighten awareness of the potential risks associated with a reliance on measuring work by merely being in paid formal employment.</p>},
  author       = {Asaba, Eric and Aldrich, Rebecca M. and Gabrielsson, Hanna and Ekstam, Lisa and Farias, Lisette},
  issn         = {1442-7591},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {81--94},
  publisher    = {School of Occupational Therapy},
  series       = {Journal of Occupational Science},
  title        = {Challenging conceptualisations of work : Revisiting contemporary experiences of return to work and unemployment},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2020.1820896},
  doi          = {10.1080/14427591.2020.1820896},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2021},
}