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  • 1. Eriksson, Henrik
    et al.
    Sandberg, Jonas
    Holmgren, Jessica
    Pringle, Keith
    His Helping hands: adult daughter's perceptions' of fathers with caregiving responsibility2013In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 235-248Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Women's position as informal carers has been taken for granted in social policy and social professions, while relatively few discussions have elaborated on caring as a later life activity for men and the impact on family care. This study explores the processes connected to informal caregiving in later life through the position of adult daughters of older fathers engaged with long-term caregiving responsibilities for a partner. A sample of eight daughters, with fathers having primary caregiving responsibility for their ill partners was recruited and in-depth interviews were carried out and analysed according to qualitative procedures. The daughters' descriptions of their relationships with their fathers show that being an older man who engages in caring can have a positive outcome on relations. Even if some of the daughters have doubts about their fathers “masculine authenticity”, all of them appear to cherish “his helping hands” as a carer and closer more intimate relationships with their fathers. Caring for an old and frail spouse may potentially present alternative ways of being a man beyond traditional ‘male activities’ and that caring might also sometimes involve a re-construction of gender identities. It is suggested that social work professionals may use a gendered understanding to assess and work strategically with daughters and other family members who support caring fathers.

  • 2.
    Sandberg, Jonas
    et al.
    Department of Health Care Sciences, Ersta Sköndal University College, Stockholm.
    Eriksson, Henrik
    School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna.
    Holmgren, Jessica
    Research and Development Unit, Centre for Clinical Research, Sörmland County Council, Eskilstuna.
    Pringle, Keith
    Department of Applied Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University, London, UK.
    Keeping the family balance: adult daughters perspectives on roles and strategies when supporting caring fathers2009In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 233-245Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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