Sensory loss amongst old family members: an ethnographic study in Denmark

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review

The overall aim of the research presented is to gain new and ethnographically detailed knowledge in everyday landscapes and life as experienced by old people suffering severe weakening in their hearing and/or seeing capabilities. Methodologically we apply different forms of qualitative interviewing and ethnographic presence in the lives of approximately 30 old people living either in private homes or in nursery homes. The study is conducted across both rural and urban settings in Denmark.

The paper presented will focus on family related aspects, as experienced by the followed informants and their close family. Our tentative findings point towards a prominence of different insecurities and discomforts in social life that directly links to the decreased sensory abilities. Experiences of being ‘lost’, ‘set afloat’ and disconnected in everyday life interactions are broadly described by all of the followed old people in varying degrees and modes. These experiences leads towards uncomfortable and weakened ‘images of self’, and leaves many of the interviewed people with feelings of being inappropriate and clumsy, at best, stupid and hopelessly lost, at worst. Our material points towards consequences inflicted not alone on the affected old people, but also on family members as individual loss becomes collective loss in the context of family and kin.

The paper presentation takes its point of departure in rough pieces of empirical material (e.g. film-clips and ethnographic description) and through exposition of tentative analysis and research findings we aim to initiate a discussion around central themes of the work.

Udgivelsesår4 sep. 2018
StatusUdgivet - 4 sep. 2018
BegivenhedThe European Society on Family Relations congress : Families through the lens of diversity - Porto, Portugal
Varighed: 5 sep. 20189 sep. 2018
Konferencens nummer: 9


KonferenceThe European Society on Family Relations congress

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