Legacy: The occupational transmission of self through actions and artifacts

Elizabeth G. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This article describes a classification of types of legacy actively used to transmit the essence of self. The personal stories of 38 women, ranging in age from 31 to 94 and representing diverse marital, parental and health statuses reveal multiple dimensions of leaving a legacy in terms of content, creation and transmission. A legacy maintains and transmits identity through the occupation of passing along the closely related phenomena of artifacts such as belongings, wills, autobiographies and actions such as health behaviors, career and volunteer roles. All of the women in this study revealed individual ways of passing on their values and sense of self through their behaviors and their belongings as they engaged in a series of end of life occupations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Belongings
  • Cancer
  • Identity
  • Legacy
  • Meaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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