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Title: Identity management in old age in residential care : an ethnography
Author: Meade, Rebecca Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0001 3390 4952
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis uses an ethnographic approach to examine how older adults manage their sense of identity in residential care. Issues of psychological well being in residential care in old age are considered and it is suggested that much of the work in this area to date has been concerned with the measurement of predefined concepts. In contrast, an ethnographic approach is suited to providing a detailed description of residential life with a view to distinguishing strategies of identity management. The interplay between empirical work and theory in ethnography is highlighted, showing how the definition of identity used in the present study was informed by the research process itself. Residents' references to the past during a preparatory study prompted an interest in the significance of personal history. Identity is conceptualised as a life story, and the importance of integrating different roles is emphasised. Relocation to residential care and subsequent life in a residential home might be events which are difficult to integrate into the life story. Observations and interviews with residents and staff in five privately run homes provided a detailed description of residential life. Open coding was used to categorise the data, after which analysis moved to a more interpretative level. Residential life is shown to be highly routinised, offering residents few chances to make choices and to exert control. De-personalising circumstances such as these further the need for residents to express themselves as individuals (rather than as one-of-many) and to demonstrate their own identity. Self disclosure and social identification and distancing among the residents are investigated as strategies of identity management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology