New insights in collective participation: A South African perspective

Fasloen Adams, Daleen Casteleijn


The concept of co-occupations or collectives occupations is gaining global recognition in occupational science and occupational therapy. However, little is known about the interpretation and understanding of this concept by occupational therapists in South Africa. The study aimed to explore community based occupational therapist’s understanding of the concept of collective participation in occupations.

Purposive sampling was used to select participants. Data, gathered through semi-structured interviews, were analysed thematically.

The study yielded two themes namely; ‘The whole is more than the sum of the parts’ and ‘I joined because of me, I stayed because of them’. Theme 1, describes the nature of the concept of collective participation while theme 2 describes the reasons for people to engage in collective participation.

All participants agreed that collective participation is an everyday occurrence within South Africa. The study found that mutuality and connectedness is needed for effective co-creating, which in turn is essential for collective participation in occupations. It is through this connectedness that a collective becomes more than the sum of the parts. The study also found innate needs for human beings to ‘belong’ and to ‘survive’ and an enabling and supportive environment are motivators for people to participate collectively in occupations.

Keywords: co-occupation, collective occupation, collective participation, collective.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

CC license
This Open Access journal is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License [CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0]. Under this license, authors agree to make articles available to users, without permission or fees, for any lawful, non- commercial purpose. Users may read, copy, or re-use published content as long as the author and original place of publication are properly cited.