Reflections on a renaissance of occupation

Gail Whiteford*, Elizabeth Townsend, Clare Hocking

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    102 Citations (Scopus)


    At the close of the 20th century, there is a renaissance of occupation in occupational therapy and occupational science. Kielhorner (1992) offers an intraprofessional explanation that the growing interest in occupation recaptures occupational therapy's lost identity. An extraprofessional explanation is that postmodern ideas and social practices have helped to create a societal context in which a renaissance of occupation is welcome. Postmodernism raises questions and awareness of power, diversity, temporality, and situatedness in which normative ideas of occupation as paid work can be challenged. Since occupation is of primary concern to occupational therapy and occupational science, the authors reflect on postmodernism and its influence on a renaissance of occupation in these two fields. These reflections consider what such a renaissance means for occupational therapists and occupational scientists in the 21st century.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-69
    Number of pages9
    JournalCanadian Journal of Occupational Therapy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


    • Human activities and occupations
    • Occupation
    • Occupational Science
    • Philosophy, occupational therapy


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