Using critical policy analysis in occupational science research: Exploring Bacchi's methodology


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Systematic studies of occupation, or human doing, have flourished across occupation-based disciplines over the past 3 decades. However, a need for greater attention to the utility and appropriateness of diverse methodologies which can build occupational science research, framed by a critical lens, has been recently identified as key to enhancing the discipline's social relevance. This paper addresses the need for interdisciplinary research methodologies which can be applied to critically interrogate macro-level contextual influences on occupation, participation and inclusion. In doing so, this paper introduces political scientist Carol Bacchi's (2009) what's the problem represented to be? approach to policy analysis, as a useful methodological tool for critical occupational science research. This approach deconstructs and critiques social problems in context, enabling attention to discourses that frame occupational possibilities at an everyday level. An example from the author's doctoral research is presented to demonstrate the utility of Bacchi's methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-402
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Occupational Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2014


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