Dr. Aldrich's work focuses broadly on the occupations (or, daily activities) and occupational possibilities of marginalized populations. In addition to understanding what occupations occur in situations of disadvantage, Dr. Aldrich also studies larger structures for occupational possibilities such as social and political systems. She uses her research to generate knowledge as well as establish and expand the theoretical foundations of occupational science. Dr. Aldrich's previous research involved an ethnographic study of discouraged workers' daily occupations in a rural North Carolina manufacturing town. Currently, Dr. Aldrich is completing a cross-cultural comparative study that examines the link between social service acquisition and unemployed people's daily occupations in the United States and Canada. She is also engaged in projects surrounding the occupational possibilities in risk-immersed communities such as North City St. Louis.
Current Research Project
Title: Social services, sociopolitical discourses, and situated occupation for discouraged and older unemployed workers in the United States and Canada.
Study Design: Cross-cultural comparative ethnography and discourse analysis
Objective: To understand how social policies and discourses (as enacted in public service agencies) manifest in older unemployed and discouraged workers' occupations.
Background: Previous studies suggest that social policies and discourses are enacted and created in interactions between social service providers and recipients. However, the link between the service acquisition process, social policy and discourse, and everyday occupation has been overlooked. Given the precarious current global economy, it is important to understand how social service acquisition affects the daily occupations of unemployed people.
Outcomes: To be determined
Grant/Sponsor: Saint Louis University Beaumont Faculty Development Fund