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Title: Care in the context of marriages in later life : an analysis of experiences and perceptions
Author: Hill, Alison
ISNI:       0000 0001 3556 5376
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2007
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This study is concerned with care in the context of later life marriages. Taking a qualitative approach, it explores how forty spouses experienced and made sense of care within their marriages. From the data that these spouses provide in joint interviews, it identifies how they supported and cared for each other and how they sought to maintain their relationships and life styles in the face of disability. It also reflects on how within their care experiences these men and women strove'to preserve not only their spousal roles and identities but also their autonomy as couples. Thus it emphasises that they experienced and made sense of care both as individuals and as couples and how this duality resulted in care practices and constructs that supported and challenged gendered care expectations. This study also looks at the couples' support networks, in particular what care the spouses were prepared to accept from whom and teases out their reasons for their choices. This reveals that they understood care in terms oftheir relationships; it was about being a spouse, a relative, a friend and a neighbour. Hence, their acceptance and provision of care were underpilUJ.ed by their values and moral principles, and in particular reciprocity and fairness, that structured their personal and formal relationships. Within this context the use of services offered them a morally acceptable means ofmeeting their care needs and protecting their informal relationships. This study also gathered interview data from fifteen home service providers to examine how they experienced supporting older couples and how they understood the use ofthis service by such service users. From a comparison ofthese data with how the spouses perceived serviceuse, significant implications for social policy and care practice emerge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available