To act in front of the stories? Narrative – in – action as resource to achieve participation and humanistic values in care and rehabilitation

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Purpose of this lecture is to discuss how narratively engaged care can be co-created by older persons, their next to kins and staff working with them. We will draw on framework on narrative–in–action developed by Alsaker and Josephsson using theoretical resources from the anthropologist Cheryl Mattingly and the philosopher Paul Ricoeur. The lecture is based on Ruth Zemke lecture given at SSO conference in San Diego Oct 21

Agir face aux récits ? 
Le récit-en-action comme ressource pour permettre la participation et la mise en œuvre des valeurs humanistes dans les soins et la réadaptation. 

L'objectif de cette conférence - en anglais - est de discuter de la manière dont l’engagement narratif dans les soins peut être co-créé par les personnes âgées, leurs proches et le personnel travaillant avec elles. Nous nous appuierons sur le cadre du récit-en-action développé par Alsaker et Josephsson en utilisant les ressources théoriques de l'anthropologue Cheryl Mattingly et du philosophe Paul Ricoeur. La conférence comprendra de la théorie ainsi que de la musique, de la poésie et des histoires. La présentation est basée sur la conférence “Ruth Zemke” organisée par la Société des Sciences de l’Occupation (SSO) à San Diego le 22 octobre 2021 

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Public cible

  • Personnel d'enseignement et de recherche (PER)
  • Chercheuses et chercheurs
  • Doctorant·e·s
  • Enseignant·e·s
  • Etudiant·e·s
  • Toute personne intéressée


  • Théories et modèles en ergothérapie
  • Vieillesse, fin de vie, mort


17h45 — 18h00


18h00 — 19h30

To act in front of the stories?

Conference with Josephsson Staffan, Professor and  Research Director and Lisa Herulf Scholander, PhD-student, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden 

19h30 — 21h00




Lecture will include theory, examples, as well as music, poetry and stories.




A propos de Josephsson Staffan, Professor, Karolinska Institutet

Direktor, Strategiska forskningsområdet vårdvetenskap (SFO-V) / Strategic Research Area Health Care Science
Sektionen för arbetsterapi | NVS | Karolinska Institutet

Staffan Josephsson is Professor and a Research Director in the Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. He earned his degree in occupational therapy at Stockholm College of Health Sciences in 1985. Between 1985 and 1989 he worked as an occupational therapist in geriatric care, in addition to studying pedagogics and theatre studies at Stockholm University.
He completed his PhD in 1994 at Karolinska Institutet, writing his thesis on everyday activities as meeting places for people with dementia. As a part of his PhD studies, he spent time at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying narrative, family interventions and conceptual foundations with Cheryl Mattingly, Mary Lawlor and the late Gary Kielhofner.  His work there was influenced by a shared interest in the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur, who was known for combining phenomenology and hermeneutics to explain how everyday human activity shapes understanding through narrative.
Staffan Josephsson began his teaching and research at Karolinska Institutet in 1998 and he was promoted to full professor in 2011.  In 2010 he affiliated with Sør-Trøndelag University College and later the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim, Norway. At NTNU, he has collaborated with Professor Sissel Alsaker to develop a “narrative-in-action” approach to explore how everyday activities help people make sense of the world by integrating, interpretating and communicating individual, social, structural, ideological and existential material.
Staffan Josephsson’s work has also been influenced by his connections with occupational scientists in Chile and Japan, as well as in his personal life, where his community interactions as a storyteller and his involvement in the local art community continuously inform his perspectives.

Discover his publications


A propos de Lisa Herulf Scholander, PhD-student, Karolinska Institutet

PhD-student - Department of Neurobiology, Care sciences and Society
Division of Occupational Therapy | Karolinska Institutet

Lisa Herulf Scholander gained her physiotherapist degree at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, in 2007 and her MSc degree in clinical medical science at Karolinska Institutet in 2015 and has ten years of clinical experience. She has also studied creative writing at Linnaeus University, Sweden. Currently, she is on her final year of doctoral education at Karolinska Insititutet, working on a qualitative research project about narrativity in geriatric care. The research is based on ethnographic fieldwork and focus group dialogues with health care professionals and theoretically grounded in philosophy about narrative and action where Paul Ricoeur’s narrative theory is an important resource. Her studies focuses on the everyday conditions for narrative practices in geriatric care: how narrative meaning-making takes place in everyday activities, how narration is expressed in healthcare professionals’ experiences of their everyday work and the conditions and opportunities for staff to engage in narrative and person-centred practices.

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Informations pratiques

Plan d'accès

To follow the conference remotely, please join this link


Chemin des Abeilles 14, 1010 Lausanne, Suisse


Retrouver la vidéo de la conférence donnée par Josephsson Staffan