Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    The experienced, autonomous 'I': critical and discursive accounts of occupational therapists' professional identity

    Dixon, Katie Louise (2013) The experienced, autonomous 'I': critical and discursive accounts of occupational therapists' professional identity. Masters by Research thesis (MSc), Manchester Metropolitan University.


    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

    Download (5MB) | Preview


    Changes in the economic and political landscape in the UK are leading to far reaching changes throughout the health and social care sectors and changing the established position and authority of health and social care professionals (Speed & Gabe, 2013). Professionals from the National Health Service and those traditionally delivering social care for Local Authorities are being asked to work more closely together to both commission and deliver services (Department of Health, 2007; HSMO, 2012). In addition, both sectors are feeling the strain of increased demand on services (Glendinning, Kirk, Guiffrida & Lawton, 2001) in conjunction with restriction on available budgets (Ferry & Eckersley, 2011). Against this backdrop, a review of a local children children’s equipment service was commissioned and undertaken by the author as part of a funded Master by research. The findings from an analysis of data generated at focus groups with professionals to discuss potential changes to the service under review, showed that at this time of strain and change for the organisation and institutions, discourses of professional identity were brought to the fore. Therefore this thesis seeks to contribute to the developing literature on professional identity construction (Mackay, 2007; Kaposi, 2011). It will discuss literature on professional identity and its construction by individuals through talk and language. Thirdly, it presents a critical and discursive analysis of focus group data which provides evidence of the key sites of professional identity construction; between the structures of their professional institution, employing organisations and within changing relationship between occupational therapist and service users This thesis will conclude that these varied constructions of identity serve to create local discourses of occupational therapy practice that focus simultaneously on themselves as autonomous individuals, and members of a social collective, whose practice is shaped by institutional and organisational discourses and the professional-service user relationship. This thesis asserts that critical and discursive methods of analysis are useful tools when attempting to understand dynamic constructions of identity in organisational settings, particularly at a time of change within an organisation.

    Impact and Reach


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

    Repository staff only

    Edit record Edit record