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Title: Risk and care in an aging United States
Author: Ryan, Carrie
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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In the United States, an 'aging crisis' has been brewing around the rising number of older persons and the relations of care their longer lives require. New forms of neoliberal governance, which seek to manage this aging disaster, task elders with the individual responsibility to prepare and to control their aging futures. Through an ethnographic case study at Hollenbeck Palms, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Los Angeles, this dissertation investigates how a risk framework shapes the everyday, affective experiences of aging through the examination of contracting care, rewriting kin relations, mobility practices, and playing bingo. It explores how strategies of care at once reflect this regime of risk and also defy and transcend it. Through the analysis of elders' and caregivers' lives at Hollenbeck Palms, this dissertation contributes three insights: a logic of risk does not control aging futures, but instead generates even more uncertainty and insecurity in elders' lives; uncertainty is not only an indelible part of aging, but is also actively generated by elders; and contrary to the notion that the uncertainty of aging renders elders and caregivers into passive victims, elders and caregivers can learn to live alongside the uncertainty of aging care-fully. This dissertation rethinks aging in the twenty-first century United States as a site of generative possibility, instead of a site of danger.
Supervisor: Pratten, David Sponsor: Rhodes Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Aging ; Risk ; Care