Abstract

Everyday occupation is a primary means by which we organize the worlds in which we live. The phenomenological experiences of day-to-day life build meaning and community in our lives; yet everyday occupation is often “seen but unnoticed.” Cultural tendencies and invisible social forces contribute to the obscurity of the everyday and, in severe situations, to occupational deprivation. The purpose of this Slagle lecture is to raise awareness of the complexity and “delicate layerings” of everyday occupation, its theoretical and conceptual underpinnings, the consequences of severe occupational constraints to health and well-being, and the essential relevance of everyday occupation to occupational therapy and occupational science. Everyday occupation related to food is probed in depth to illustrate the richness of day-to-day living. Occupational therapy personnel are encouraged to gain deeper understandings of the importance and meaning of everyday occupation in the lives of clients and the general public, thereby helping people find value in their everyday practices.

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