Omsorgsfortællinger : Et studie af kvinders børne- og ældreomsorg

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Kathrine Carstensen
4. semester, Sociologi (cand.scient.soc), Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This master thesis focuses on the meanings that motherhood and elder care have in the everyday lives of modern women in Denmark and how it is practiced. It has as its starting point the Nordic historical, societal and cultural development throughout the last decade in which women have become emancipated from their traditional position as caregivers for children and elderly of the family. To provide a more differentiated understanding of both women’s care practices and the meanings attached to these, the master thesis include women from different social backgrounds regarding age and class.

The empirical foundation for the thesis is a qualitative mixed method study consisting of four focus group interviews and eight narrative interviews conducted with women who live in Aalborg, northern Jutland.
Theoretically, the master thesis is based on a combination of social constructivism and symbolic interactionism as presented by Mik-Meyer & Järvinen (2008). Inspired by the approach of adaptive theory, the master thesis is guided by different theoretical orienting concepts counting ‘intersectionality’, ‘class’, ‘gender’, ‘age’ ‘the symbolic and social boundaries of the everyday life’, ‘respectability, identification and disidentification’ and ‘care’, drawing on the work of Bourdieu (1995), Butler (1990), Gullestad (1984, 2002, 2006), Dahl (1997, 2000), Wærness (1992), Lamont (1992), West & Zimmerman (1987) and Skeggs (1997) among others.

Different themes within the area of both care practices and the meaning of care are identified in the analysis and the themes are discussed with involvement of the orienting concepts and existing research.
On the basis of this process of analysis, the master thesis shows that care remains a central practice of modern women’s everyday lives and remains highly important as a part of their self-perception. However, the analysis shows that both the care practices and the attached meanings differentiate between different women especially with re-gard to their class background, but also in terms of social differentiations as historical generations, life experiences and understandings of gender. Likewise, the analysis shows that women’s care practices and its meanings cannot be understood adequately without drawing attention to which type of care; child or elder care. Thus, it is con-cluded that women's care practices and the related meanings are highly situated, socially and structurally embedded and context-dependent.
Antal sider149
ID: 81252537