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Keeping the family balance: Adult daughters’ experiences of roles and strategies when supporting caring fathers
(Palliativt forskningscentrum, MeCaLL)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0566-4685
2009 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 233-245Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Scandinavian countries represent a progressive approach to gender equality and transitions of traditional gender roles but little attention has been paid to gender equality in old age and how normative constructions of gender intersect in the lives of family carers. The aim of this study was to understand how adult daughters experience their roles and strategies when supporting fathers caring for an ill mother. A sample of eight daughters shared their experiences through in-depth interviews. The findings show that the daughters provide substantial and crucial effort and are intimately involved in the caring for their father and the sole contributors towards the emotional support of their fathers. They tend to devote a lot of energy towards picturing their family as ‘normal’ in terms of the family members adopting traditional roles and activities inside as well as outside the family context. In conclusion, the lack of understanding about gender as a ‘norm producer’ is something that needs to be further elaborated upon in order for professionals to encounter norm-breaking behaviours. The daughters’ position as family carers is often assumed and taken for granted since the intersecting structures that impact on the situations of the daughters are largely invisible.

Abstract [sv]

De skandinaviska länderna representerar en progressiv syn på jämställdhet och förändringar av traditionella könsroller, men lite uppmärksamhet har riktats mot jämställdhet i hög ålder och vad som händer när normativa genuskonstruktioner möter erfarenheter hos äldre anhörigvårdare. Syftet med denna studie var att förstå hur vuxna döttrar erfar sina roller och strategier när de stödjer fäder som tar hand om en sjuk mor. Ett urval av åtta döttrar delade sina erfarenheter i djupintervjuer. Resultaten visar att döttrar ger betydande insatser och är intimt involverade i att ta hand om sin far och är den enda bidragsgivare av emotionellt stöd till sina fäder. Döttrarna ägnar stor energi att framställa familjesituationen som ‘normal’ genom att anta traditionella roller och verksamheter såväl inom som utanför familjen. Förståelse för genus som normskapare är något som måste beforskas ytterligare för att yrkesverksamma ska kunna möta normbrytande beteenden. Döttrars position som anhörigvårdare tas ofta förgiven eftersom de intersektionella strukturer som påverkar döttrar till vårdande fäder i stort sett är osynliga.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 12, no 2, p. 233-245
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-17086DOI: 10.1080/13691450802567499OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-17086DiVA, id: diva2:477499
Available from: 2012-01-13 Created: 2012-01-13 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Sandberg, Jonas

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