EASA, 2010: EASA2010: Crisis and imagination

Maynooth, 24/08/2010 – 27/08/2010


Negotiating values: care support, solidarity and elderly people

Location JHT9
Date and Start Time 26 Aug, 2010 at 11:30


Piet van Eeuwijk (University of Basel) email
Jana Gerold (University of Basel) email
Vendelin Simon Tarmo (University of Dar es salaam) email
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Long Abstract

On-going demographic, epidemiological and social transformations along with urbanisation and change of lifestyle in most Asian, African, and Latin American societies lead to a distinct shift of health priority from cure to care. Starting from a broad 'care' understanding, which represents the moral quality of life in society and embodies both attitude and process directed towards the other and towards the future, we shed light on related values in elder care and explore how they are challenged in everyday practice.

We encourage participants to explore how solidarity, trust, power and gender in elder care is re-conceptualised/re-presented by different groups of actors, which aged people are most vulnerable/resilient to failing care, and where potentials arise from elder care. Reflections on newly emerging issues (eg perspective of care-givers; increasing commercialization of care support) are welcome. We wish to examine how elderly individuals experience their well-being in institutionalized care settings worldwide. Finally, we also want to explore how migrants cope with increasing care needs 'at home' and utilize their transnational resources.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.


The handling of dementia in Germany: relatives between care for others and self care

Author: Daniela Manke (Heidelberg University)  email
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Long Abstract

How do our values influence our imagination of what is threatening? What ideas of life quality and human dignity do we have? Which values conduct our understanding of good care?

This themes were subject of my ethnographic research in Germany about the caring situation between adult children and spouses on the one side and parents or spouses with dementia on the other side. Cultural values like autonomy and independence are central in the handling with dementia and create specific conflicts in the caring situation. Carer and the person with dementia are co-dependent.

At the same time there is a great influence on the handling by the societal view of dementia, connoted often with mind loss and imagined as an enemy which has to be combated, as the recently inaugurated German "National centre to combat dementia" symbolises.

Socio-cultural influence of immigration in informal caregiving at elderly

Authors: Isabel Morales (Catholic University of Murcia)  email
Joaquín Guerrero (Catholic University, Murcia)  email
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Long Abstract

The experiences of human health and disease constitute a process that can be understood like a continuous one where the evolution of the process towards the end of the disease displays several practices of health. As informal care systems, as self-attention processes proliferate and are developed in the health process search. The answers to the necessities of dependent people would be covered through mechanisms that neither family groups nor social-health services really cover. The care values are therefore, one of the aspects in which we will take our attention due to its importance and its expanded historical route, bound in its origin to the basic care of life maintenance. The phenomenon of immigration in domestic environment could be generating a cultural dialogue and new challenges in the family unit, roles, beliefs and cultural patterns which have an important influence in the configuration of the informal care.

'Do we care?' Critical observations on 'culture sensible elderly care in Austria'

Author: Margret Jaeger (SFU Private University )  email
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Long Abstract

The presentation resumes experience in teaching "culture sensible elderly care" in adult education in Austria and shows how person centred care across different cultures, religions etc. may contribute to both better working conditions and patient's satisfaction and wellbeing. Representing a 25 years old centre for migrants best practice examples from other countries needed to be used to discuss the issue. People with migration background nearly do not appear as clients/patients in intra and extramural care systems in Austria. Different reasons for that have been pointed out in Germany and Switzerland already, but dates from Austria's reality are nearly inexistent. We know already migrants may not count any longer with the family's solidarity when getting older and perhaps ill, but also do not use help from care systems in the way it would be possible. Gender aspect is getting more important as more men start working in care jobs and the question of which sex does the daily care work raised.

Growing old in a transnational social field: negotiating change and accessing care between home and host communities

Author: Elisabetta Zontini (Nottingham University)  email
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Long Abstract

The proposed paper deals with the experiences of ageing of migrants. Drawing on research with Italians in the UK, the paper will explore their dilemmas about where to retire and the consequences of different choices for the elderly themselves and those around them. Specifically the paper will focus on two interrelated issues. First, the subjective experiences of ageing migrants, their choices and dilemmas about where to spend old age and their ways of making sense of changes occurring in both 'host' and 'home' communities. Second, their access to and participation in networks of care both locally and transnationally. At a theoretical level the paper will bring together the emerging scholarship on 'transnational care-giving' - which has started to explore the consequences of geographical distance in affecting caring practices towards the aged - with the feminist ethics of care which draws attention to the reciprocal and multi-directional nature of caring relationships.

The art of caring and voluntary organisations

Author: Tomoko Hayakawa (University College, London)  email
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Long Abstract

This paper examines the role of a voluntary organisation in care-oriented volunteering for the elderly.

Caring, in this context, does not only come down to the volunteers' positive sentiment towards the service users, but also shows itself to be an activity that requires volunteers to learn certain skills.

The role of voluntary organisations as a gate keeper is essential as the tension between volunteers and vulnerable elderly people suffering from multiple deprivations, gives physical and emotional stress to volunteers as well as to the elderly.

This paper explores these issues through an ethnographic case study of a locally based voluntary organisation in London. The case study reveals that while both care-givers and care-receivers look for friendships in volunteering, volunteering relationships need to be regulated and standardized by an organisation with various strategies such as the logic of 'empowerment' and volunteering management schemes.

Who cares? Implications of the carrying state on the social relations of elderly Danes

Author: Bodil Ludvigsen (University of Copenhagen)  email
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Long Abstract

Increasingly care work for fragile elderly Danes living in their own homes has become the obligation of the state. Municipalities make home care available through staff, such as home nurses, who provide citizens with professional nursing. This makes home nurses important caretakers vis-à-vis elderly people.

Kin are one of the most important, though still unrecognized, resource for people suffering from poor health. Many elderly people gradually lose their spouse, kin and friends, and consequently social relations, which are not replaced. This study, which takes place in a home nurse organization, focus on the tendency for nurses and staff to develop essential social relations with elderly home care receivers, as well as providing state organized care and home nursing. Using an anthropological understanding this paper discuss such social relations from the perspective of the elderly person and the home nurse.

The art of care giving and receiving between grandparents and grandchildren in Rufiji, Tanzania

Author: Vendelin Simon Tarmo (University of Dar es salaam)  email
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Long Abstract

This paper examines how Warufiji elderly treat their grandchildren as very important resources to strengthen resilience and mitigate vulnerability. This is mainly manifested in care relations of those elderly whose children have moved to towns. This perspective negates previous studies that have seen intergenerational relationships through negative lenses particularly in the era of HIV/AIDS. The paper draws the cultural, social and economic relationships that exist between the elderly and the grandchildren and how this shapes care. In other words it tries to see the grandchildren-grandparent's relations through a positive lens where elderly negotiate values and norms that shape their resilience when they become vulnerable. The study takes place in Rufiji district, Tanzania.

Childlessness, kinship and elderly people

Author: Anna Piella-Vila (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB))  email
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Long Abstract

Throughout history, and in different cultural contexts, the role of childless people in elder and child care in the framework of kinship has been overshadowed within the relationships and duties among relatives. This paper considers how people without children have an active role in issues related to intergenerational solidarity, shared care, and filial piety, despite the often undervalued position of childless people among their family network. And the point is not only about their relationships, but also their own situation when they become elderly childless people.

We start from a cross-cultural approach through History that considers the entire set of relationships, feelings, and representations, which develop from procreation and child-rearing processes and are expressed in the course of life, as an outstanding aspect of kinship. In this sense, rather than childlessness, the question is 'being someone's child' (and therefore member of a group of relatives).

Care and love: how does this go together?

Author: Jana Gerold (University of Basel)  email
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Long Abstract

This research project wants to explore dimensions of caring for and caring about elderly, which go beyond values such as solidarity, obligations and community support.

This study aims to examine care provision and reception by and of spouses during old age and how these dimensions are part of love relations. A special focus will be laid on care practices in the context of acute curable diseases and chronic illness. Further the study wants to find out about the role intimacy plays, when one partner provides care for the other. This study tries not only to analyze spouse relationships where care is provided but also tries to look into why care is failed to be provided.

The study setting is an urban low-income residential area in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) where in-depth interviews and observations will be conducted.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.