Activities: Reality and Symbol
This book describes the content and process for exploring and studying the social, cultural, and personal meanings inherent in activities. Authored by Gail Fidler and Beth Velde, this text examines the potential of activities to reflect and shape social, cultural, and personal meanings; to communicate certain physical, affective, and cognitive responses. Activities: Reality and Symbol guides the reader to a better understanding of activities and their potential in our lives by examining the processes of investigating and discovering the dynamics of daily activities. By looking at activities as never before, this book successfully addresses activity for its own meaning, symbol and purpose.
This book is organized as a sequential, experiential learning process that includes structural assignments for interviews, personal reflections and group discussion. The beginning of the text presents an overview of the philosophy and the content focus of the book. Following chapters explain the symbolic process as giving meaning to the events and activities of daily life, and include an activity laboratory for experiencing symbol and metaphor. A detailed examination of activities, and a format for analyzing activities are explained. Final chapters apply prior learning to specific activities including play, games, sport, crafts, careers, and more.
Chapter 1: Introductory Overview
Chapter 2: Symbolization: Making Meaning for Self and Society
Chapter 3: Exploring Potential: The Activity Laboratory
Chapter 4: The Language of Objects
Chapter 5: Deciphering the Message: The Activity Analysis
Chapter 6: Codes of Meaning: Play, Games, and Sports
Chapter 7: Codes of Meaning: Nature's Challenge
Chapter 8: The Language of Crafts
Chapter 9: Messages of Self-Care
Chapter 10: Voices of the Arts
Chapter 11: Codes of Meaning: Jobs and Careers
Chapter 12: Messages of the Environment
Chapter 13: Summary Overview
"This very interesting publication is highly relevant to occupational therapy practice confirming the therapeutic value of activities and encouraging us to further understand our relationship with activities."
— Beverly Franchuk, Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy
"The perspectives and meaning the authors have collected together provide a rich resource for occupational scientists and suggest promising avenues for future research."
— Claire Hocking, Auckland University of Technology
About the Authors
Gail S. Fidler holds a bachelor of arts degree from Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, and received her formal education in occupational therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. Her early years as an occupational therapist were spent at military and veterans hospitals. She has worked for the American Occupational Therapy Association as coordinator of the Psychiatric Study Group and has held numerous positions with occupational therapy educational programs. Mrs. Fidler has published over 25 articles and chapters, and has authored or co-authored six books, including Activities: Reality and Symbol. She continues to pursue scholarly activities in occupational therapy and present her ideas through a variety of modalities.
Beth P. Velde is director of graduate studies and associate professor of occupational therapy at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. Dr. Velde earned a bachelor of science degree in zoology and a master of science degree in parks and recreation from the University of Illinois, a master of science degree in occupational therapy from College Misericordia, Dallas, PA, and a PhD in educational psychology from the University of Calgary, Alberta. Since becoming an occupational therapist, she has authored 25 scholarly papers, chapters, and books, including Activities: Reality and Symbol and Community Occupational Therapy Education and Practice. Her special interest is in community-built occupational therapy practice and research into the relationship of occupation in quality of life.