Engagement in occupation as an inquiring process: Exploring the situatedness of occupation

Jacob Østergaard Madsen, Staffan Josephsson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A number of existing contributions within occupational science have explored the situatedness of occupation by asking what. We identify this perspective as limiting understandings of the relationship of situation and occupation. Instead, we propose using John Dewey’s theory of inquiry to explore the situatedness of occupation from the perspective of how situation and occupation work together. We argue that this approach can provide a theoretical understanding of engagement in occupation as a natural inquiry process. Viewing occupation from this perspective, we suggest, reveals its transformative capacity, situating it in the doing of explorative actions, depending on contextual cues. The implications of the suggested situatedness of occupation are discussed, and the authors present ‘enacted situated inquiry’ as a way to further understandings of the relationship of occupation and situation, along with proposals for moving forward.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Occupational Science
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)412-424
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • occupational therapy


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