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Title: Cultures of consumption within residential care homes : understanding elderly bricoleurs' cultural maps of meaning
Author: Stone, Timothy T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 2630
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2006
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Set within the context that the world’s population is ageing at an unprecedented rate, it is argued that care of the elderly, and their everyday lived experiences are poised to become prominent concerns. In the shadow of this, the ageing population poses a myriad of challenges not only for the elderly but also for policy makers who put in place systems for the provision of services within residential care homes. By virtue, given that communities of elderly consumers voices are often muted within many academic analyses of social policy and service provision this study illuminates and distils communities of elderly consumers understandings of residential care homes. Given the absence of suitable literature within the fields of marketing and interpretive consumer research, this study turns to the sociological and anthropological literature of Hall and Jefferson (1976) and Levi-Strauss (1966). In doing so, communities of elderly consumers within residential care homes can be theorised as a cultural community of ‘bricoleurs’ within a ‘cultural map of meaning’. Furthermore, viewed through this lens, such bricoleurs can be seen to understand their meaningful everyday lived experiences within, and through, the use of ‘bricolage’. Emanating from eight existential-phenomenological interviews, a rich picture emerges wherein bricoleurs understandings of residential care homes can be seen to be embedded not only within, but also through, such things as the body, leisure trips, noise disturbances, death, large items of furniture, small hand-sized objects, mobility aids, quality of care and social interaction. Moreover, in the light of the resultant interpretations common themes can be seen to emerge within communities of bricoleurs social and material understandings of residential care homes, namely the notion of cultures of dependency, trauma and comfort. This research contributes to marketing knowledge in that it argues that communities of ‘elderly bricoleurs’ within residential care homes can be seen to be held together by unique understandings of cultures of dependency, trauma and comfort. Furthermore, it is also argued that elderly bricoleurs address themselves to a relatively limited amount of bricolage that enables them to keep alive actual, desired, imagined and fictional community ties. Furthermore, the reality and efficacy of cultural communities of elderly bricoleurs seems to depend on their ability to address ‘whatever is to hand’ (Levi-Strauss, 1966) in order to construct and understand their cultural maps of meaning within residential care homes.
Supervisor: Brownlie, Douglas T. ; Hewer, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Old age homes ; Aged Institutional care