Seeing white: a critical exploration of occupational therapy with Indigenous Australian people (Alison Nelson, 2007)
This paper aims to critique current occupational therapy practice and theory using Indigenous Australian people as a case example. Critical race theory will be used to help question the privileged position of an occupational therapist from a dominant Westernized culture. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 (eight female and seven male) Indigenous Australian young people about their perspectives of health and physical activity. In addition, the Kawa model was used as an alternative data-collection tool and detailed field notes and researcher reflections were used as data sources. Preliminary analysis of data is used to illustrate the ways in which critical race theory can inform occupational therapy practitioners and researchers about the ways Indigenous Australian young people view their health. Methodological dilemmas are also discussed. The paper is based on preliminary findings and further analysis needs to continue. Cross-cultural research is inherently complex but can offer those from the dominant culture valuable insights into their taken-for-granted assumptions. Further use of critical race theory may prove useful as the occupational therapy profession continues to evolve its understanding of cultural safety. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Author: Alison Nelson
Published in: Occupational Therapy International. Volume 14, Issue 4. December 2007. Pages 237–255.