Isn't he wonderful? Exploring the contribution and conceptualisation of older husbands as carers

Milne, A.J. and Hatzidimitriadou, E. (2003) Isn't he wonderful? Exploring the contribution and conceptualisation of older husbands as carers. Ageing International, 28 (4). pp. 389-407. ISSN 0163-5158. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between the dimensions of a debate cited at the intersection of ageing, gender, and family care. It draws together evidence from the General Household Survey for Britain 2000 and social research to explore the contribution and conceptualization of caring by older husbands. UK research on caring reveals that among older spouses, equal numbers of husbands and wives provide intensive care. It has been argued that within late-life marriage an over-riding desire to retain independence erodes gender-determined task allocation, suggesting not only similarity but equality between wives and husbands as carers. More recent qualitative research challenges this assumption and suggests two key findings: that older husbands are motivated to care by a combination of marital duty and reciprocal love, and that they manage the tasks of caring within an instrumental framework. Further, it is clear that pre-existing gender relations continue to be powerful determinants of the experience of caring, and that marital power is retained by men in late-life marriage. Overall, the caring contribution of older husbands is imbued with positive meaning, is highly valued, and offers a distinctive role and identity; this contrasts sharply with the caring experiences of older wives.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Samantha Osborne
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:23
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2014 12:48
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/639 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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