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|This thesis focuses on the subjectivities and everyday routines of people who provide home-based care to older people at a political juncture which is reorienting social care towards self-directed support. Promoting the uptake of personal cash budgets and encouraging more person-centred provision, personalisation agendas loosely knit with the recognition politics of the disability movement, and connect to the emerging ‘Big Society’ discourse by encouraging more support from family, friends and volunteers. Their discursive combination strengthen and legitimate choice and control agendas that are potentially progressive in many ways, but have less obvious benefit from a carer perspective. This qualitative research draws upon semi-structured interviews and solicited diaries to explore the everyday practices, spaces and emotional investments of paid and unpaid home-based carers in Tyne and Wear, UK. Using feminist and poststructuralist understandings of diverse care economies, and phenomenological concepts of orientation and life-world, I argue that in negotiating the right thing to do, carer orientations in ‘being for others’ traverse competing social expectations, and disrupt and constitute caring spaces, practices and identities. Individualised notions of choice and control may fray and unravel when directed towards carers who de-limit possibilities in their everyday lives in a desire for coherence, predictability and legitimacy. Findings suggest that ‘good enough’ care imaginaries are often co-produced in a context of significant constraint. Yet, in augmenting imagined notions of home and family in everyday caring routines, carer respondents often insist on the necessity of practices which extend beyond utility, reflecting on the life-course to sustain meaningful stories and coherent identities for older people and for themselves.
|Orientations and lifeworlds of carers of older people in Tyne and Wear, UK
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|School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
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