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Care in practice: Negotiations regarding care for the elderly in multigenerational Arab Muslim families in Denmark

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  • Abir Mohamad Ismail

Recent studies conclude that ethnic minority families in Denmark tend to be dismissive of senior housing and municipal homecare services for elderly family members. A large proportion of Muslim minority families in Denmark attach great importance to caring for the elderly as a tradition and prefer to take care of their own elderly family members at home. Nevertheless, the fact that morality, incentives, and obligations in relation to care for the elderly may be legitimized and/or contested with reference to cultural traditions and Islam has not received much attention in current research. In this article, drawing on material from ongoing ethnographic fieldwork among Arab Muslim families in Denmark, I discuss how cultural and religious backgrounds may determine and influence perceptions and behavior regarding care for the elderly. By observing and engaging in the everyday life of an Arab Muslim family, I explore how caring for elderly people with health problems at home raises specific questions about obligations and triggers negotiations across genders and generations. I argue that besides kinship and ethnicity, it is equally important to consider religiosity in an attempt to learn more about how Arab Muslims care for their elderly family members.

TidsskriftContemporary Islam
Sider (fra-til)215-232
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2021

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