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Ageing in Sub-Saharan AfricaSpaces and Practices of Care$
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Jaco Hoffman and Katrien Pype

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447325253

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447325253.001.0001

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Care and identity in rural Malawi

Care and identity in rural Malawi

Chapter:
(p.115) Five Care and identity in rural Malawi
Source:
Ageing in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author(s):

Emily Freeman

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447325253.003.0006

Political and academic concern that care for older adults in Sub-Saharan Africa is insufficient and under strain is long standing, but poorly set out. Questions remain unanswered: What is meant by ‘care’? Do (all) older adults want it? And if they do, when do they want it and from whom? This chapter considers the way older adults in rural southern Malawi discussed care in a series of in-depth interviews. Participants talked much less about availability of care, and much more about what the giving and receiving of care ‘said’ about them. The chapter draws on sociological theories of identity to explore the implications of the meanings participants associated with different types of care for their age-related identity scripts. All presented their experiences of care in ways they understood to demonstrate positive identities in light of challenges presented by loss of capacity for self-care and the care of others.

Keywords:   Malawi, identity, care for older adults, capacity, self-care

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