By Bernhard Weicht
Bernhard Weicht presents a multi-layered research of ways we comprehend and build care in lifestyle, the meanings it has for ourselves, our households, our relations, identities and our experience of society and what's correct and correct, making an unique contribution to the dialogue of the character of care ethics and its political capability.
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Extra info for The Meaning of Care: The Social Construction of Care for Elderly People
Two case studies (carried out in the United Kingdom and Austria) provide both the empirical data supporting the analysis and illustrations for a better understanding of discussions on specific issues. The case studies consist of a discourse analysis carried out between 2006 and 2010 as part of an investigation into the (social) construction of care for the elderly. Both countries are characterised by being part of a European historical development with its moral and philosophical foundation influenced by a Judeo-Christian-Muslim ethical tradition.
In the following extract, Helma talks about the possibilities of arranging a live-in carer for her mother who could take over most of the caring tasks she is performing at the moment, as opposed to having her move into an institutional setting: Helma: So, I have to say, under certain conditions, I could imagine it with every other person, but not with my own mother. I wouldn’t want to do it with my own mother. [ . . ] Uta: Then you can only put her into a [care] home. Helma: Yes, I would have to show this strength.
And guilt [ . . ] to look after your parents. And [ . . ] this is quite important because [ . . ] some people are looked at and ostracised because they’re not looking after their elderly parents [ . . ]. I would do it in a Christian way but not because they are my parents. I would look after them as I would look after anyone. This discussion is an example of a very interesting dynamic that can be observed in relation to practical, moral reasoning (Sayer, 2011). Will describes abstract principles of family responsibility and discusses to what extent people have a duty to care for their parents.