Figured world of eating disorders: Occupations of illness
Elliot, Michelle L.
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Elliot, M. (2012) Figured world of eating disorders: Occupations of illness, Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 79, , pp. 15-22,
Background. The biomedical diagnosis of eating disorders signifies a mental illness with complex physical symptomology. The socio-cultural determinants and impact of eating disorders on daily occupations are not adequately addressed in this classification. Purpose. This paper introduces the concept of a figured world as a framework for how eating disorders exist in daily activity and social discourse. How occupations become ascribed with meaning generated by an eating disorder will be proposed through the voice of a composite character in the figured world. Key Issues. Central elements to contextualizing figured worlds include positional identity, self-authoring, and semiotic mediation. The generation of meaning in illness arises from the integration of these elements into this specific figured world. Implications. The competing agendas of the biomedical model and figured world permit a new understanding of the challenges associated with recovery. For occupational therapists, these challenges require the reattribution of meaning of daily occupations.