• Activity Monitoring for Ambient Assisted Living: the Smart Distress Monitor

      Pratesi, Alessandro; Sixsmith, Judith (CoralEurope, 2011)
    • Chain reaction: interviewing interviewers. Positionality and qualitative research

      Pratesi, Alessandro; Runswich-Cole, Katherine; Manchester Metropolitan University (2010-07)
      NA
    • Cittadinanza e inclusione sociale tra emozioni e pratiche di cura. Il caso dei rifugiati e dei richiedenti asilo in Europa.

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (Ethics and Politics, 2016)
      The theoretical contribution illustrated in this article is aimed at highlighting the vast potentialities emerging from the intersection of citizenship studies, ethics of care studies and the sociology of emotions; in other words, emerging from the intersection of the concept of citizenship with the concept of care and the emotional dynamics revolving around them. The analysis is developed within the context of our rapidly changing global societies and in light of some of the most recent developments concerning the so-called European refugee crisis. The overall objective is getting insights in the multiple ways in which new forms of citizenship and social inclusion are creatively performed at the local level, i.e. at the level of micro-interactions, even when forms of exclusion, borders-defence attitudes and racism persist at the institutional and political level.
    • Discussing citizenship and social inclusion through the lenses of emotions and care practices

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (2016-02)
      The workshop addresses fundamental political, cultural and sociological implications of the current international refugee crisis in terms of social inclusion, citizenship and social change. Several scholars (Castles, 2014; Dauvergne and Marsden, 2014; James, 2014; McNevin, 2006; Shachar, 2014; Stychin, 2001) highlight the multiple challenges involved in the attempt to overcome current limited uses of the language of citizenship. Among the numerous issues concerning the necessity to provide different social actors with fair and adequate responses, James (2014) emphasises the issue of the social and ethical framing of the problem, which requires going beyond unilateral, inflexible and value-neutral definitions of entitlement to rights. More specifically, the author suggests the necessity to ground the ethics of rights to an ethics of care through which fundamental questions of difference/identity, inclusion/exclusion, and mobility/belonging are negotiated (James, 2014). This involves the necessity to shift the focus upon the micro level of analysis and to look at the spaces where the situated actions and interactions occur, at the ways, in other words, in which people constantly construct and reconstruct their sense of entitlement and belonging. Citizenship and social inclusion (macro level) will be associated in this workshop to the ‘sentiments’ and the ‘practices’ of family care (micro level). The term ‘world families’ (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2014) includes a heterogeneous and tension-filled set of social actors who share in common the potentiality to bridge traditional distinctions between public and private, centre and periphery, national and international, bypassing dichotomous ideas of inclusion/exclusion which typically characterise the concept of citizenship. This concept resonates with the notion of ‘cultural rights’ described by Pakulski (1997) in terms of a new set of claims including the right to symbolic presence and visibility vs. marginalisation; the right to dignifying representation vs. stigmatisation; and the right to affirmation and propagation of identity vs. assimilation. ‘Global citizens’ and ‘global families’ are the terms I use in this context to indicate refugees, asylum seekers and other unequally entitled citizens. From the theoretical point of view, the approach here illustrated draws on those aspects of the sociology of emotions that explain inequality in terms of emotion-based processes which occur at the level of micro-situated interactions (Barbalet, 2001; Collins, 1990, 1993, 2004; Gordon, 1990; Hammond, 1990; Hochschild, 1995; Katz, 1999; Kemper, 1990; Scheff, 1990; Smith-Lovin, 1993; von Scheve & von Luede, 2005). The idea is intersecting care, emotion and citizenship and analysing their role to understand social inclusion and social change. More specifically, the workshop will be based on Collins’ theory of Interaction Ritual Chains (2004), according to which the fundamental mechanisms defining the individuals’ positions (/statuses) in society possess an emotional nature rather than a merely economic, cultural, social or political one.
    • Doing Care, Doing Citizenship. Towards a Micro-situated and Emotion-based Model of Social Inclusion

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-01)
      The book examines the emotional, micro-situated dynamics of status inclusion/exclusion that people produce while caring for others by focusing, in particular, on non-conventional families. Grounded in empirical research that involves different types of care and family contexts, the book situates care within more inclusive and critical approaches while shedding light on its multiple and often overlooked meanings and implications. Engaging and accompanied by a useful methodological appendix, Doing Care, Doing Citizenship is essential reading for students and academics of sociology, psychology, social work and social theory. It will also be of interest to practitioners interested in developing their understanding of the relationship between care, emotions, social inclusion and citizenship.
    • Doing Care, Doing Difference. Informal Care, Emotional Dynamics and Social Change

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Pennsylvania (2008)
      Broadening and intertwining the conceptual categories of care, gender, and emotion, this dissertation discusses the dynamics of inclusion/exclusion and the consequent outcomes of inequality people produce while caring for others. It reports preliminary findings relating to a micro-situated study of daily caring activities among upper-middle class caregivers, both gay and non-gay. The focus is on informal care, seen as a strategic site to grasp deeper insights into the interactional mechanisms through which normative structures of subordination or superordination are daily constructed. By looking at the inner interactive dimensions of informal care, it is argued that, in doing care, people create forms of emotional stratification at the micro-level that affect their social positioning at the macro-level. The consideration of gay and non-gay caregivers in a broader phenomenological perspective provides us with new empirical evidence on how deeply people are embedded in gender systems and cultural beliefs; but it also highlights how individuals, by managing the emotions involved in care work, create the conditions to produce social change. By putting emotion at the center of the routine interactional processes of informal care and pointing to the different dimensions of difference, the findings from this research show the necessity of new theoretical and methodological approaches to investigate informal care.
    • Enabling older adults’ safety, independence and well-being through technology: Lessons from two case studies

      Pratesi, Alessandro; Sixsmith, Judith; Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) (2011-04)
      NA
    • Exploring the Emotional Experience of Same-sex Parents by Mixing Creatively Multiple Qualitative Methods

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (2012)
      In this paper I address some of the main challenges and benefits of doing qualitative research with a specific type of 'informal carers': those who have been thus far excluded from the conceptual category of 'normal' carers and from 'normal' research on informal care: same-sex parents. The research presented in this paper is an example of a qualitative, inclusive approach to studying the felt and lived experience of 42 same-sex parents. It draws on a wider study on 80 informal caregivers, whose aim is to offer a more inclusive interpretation and a more reliable discourse on family care and parenthood. The research objective was gaining insights into the emotional mechanisms through which dynamics of inclusion or exclusion are interactionally and situationally constructed and/or challenged while doing care. In this paper I illustrate the mix of creative, qualitative methods I employed to explore the experiences of a group of same-sex parents living in Philadelphia (USA).
    • Genuine partnership and equitable research: working “with” older people to develop a smart activity monitoring system

      Pratesi, Alessandro; Sixsmith, Judith; Woolrych, Ryan (2013-12)
      Recent UK government policy has highlighted the value of user involvement in service development, particularly concerning assistive technologies and their role in providing care. This article illustrates the case of a person-centred, participatory project involving older people in the design, implementation and development of innovative technological solutions to enable older people to live independently and age-in-place within their homes and communities. The research aims and objectives included: the identification of technological, psychological and social needs of older people; the definition of user requirements to inform an activity monitoring system for use in private homes and residential care settings; and the analysis of the ways in which such systems impact on the everyday lives of older adults in different settings. The innovative aspects of the user-driven, participatory approach illustrated in this paper concern the involvement of older people as co-researchers throughout the research process. This article reports the reflexive accounts which emerged during the project and provides viable and practical pathways to facilitate participatory research in the development of assistive technology for older adults. It provides practical guidelines for future user-driven, participatory research involving older adults in the design, development and implementation of assistive technologies. Our findings show that developing authentic, non-tokenistic research partnerships and including older people’s ideas, motivations and perspectives in the design and development of these types of technology can lead to productive forms of mutual inspiration and technological solutions grounded in the experiences of older people.
    • Neither marginalisation nor incorporation: Gay and lesbian caregivers as a case for anti-assimilationist citizenship

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (2013-06)
      Introduction Care is a fundamental component of people’s life, with significant implications in terms of status and power dimensions, social justice, equality and citizenship. Nevertheless, care related policies tend to be defined in neutral terms, reinforcing inequalities based on gender, class, race/ethnicity, age, able-bodiness and sexual orientation. Moreover, the literature on care tends to be focused on its costs and responsibilities, while less attention is paid to the right to care and its consequences in terms of status inclusion or exclusion. Aims The study here presented aimed at rethinking the phenomenon of care in a broader perspective, by offering a qualitative analysis that also includes non-conventional caregivers. It builds on the findings of an empirical research on informal care conducted in the USA between 2005 and 2007. The theoretical framework draws on those aspects of the psycho-sociology of emotions that, in explaining how feelings motivate conformity and social stratification, connect micro- and macro-levels, making care, emotion and sexual orientation central to understand how situated interactions reproduce social structure. Methods The sub-sample of gay and lesbian caregivers who are examined in this paper is part of a larger purposive sample of 80 informal caregivers, 40 men and 40 women, involved in childcare or elderly care (or, sometimes, both). The research was based on a multi-method approach, including semi-structured in-depth interviews, participant observation, diaries, online discussion forums between members of carers’ associations, key-informants interviews, secondary sources on informal care collected from local associations, journal and newspaper articles and the web. Results The phenomenological analysis of the different meanings and implications of Care discussed in this paper sheds light into important and yet less visible and still unexplored aspects of Care concerning status and power dimensions. If such status and power dimensions are relevant for all caregivers, regardless of their sexual orientation, the public dimension of LGBT care activities (particularly when parenthood is involved) is also quintessentially political. Western culture incorporates aspects of same-sex parenthood that fit with neoliberal, capitalist and individualist agendas while excluding the rest. Whether LGBT caregivers/parents are interested in embracing such political agendas is questionable. Conclusions The implications of more inclusive approaches to Care are crucially important for current debates within social sciences, but also in terms of social policy and LGBT citizenship. Situating the debate of LGBT citizenship within the context of care allows us to reframe the discourse on Care and reduce the inequalities traditionally connected to this fundamental activity; but it also allows overcoming the artificial and misleading dualism between marginalisation and incorporation and to look for anti-assimilationist strategies of inclusion.
    • New kinds of families, new kinds of social care

      Pratesi, Alessandro; Groger, Teppo (Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2004)
      The SOCCARE Project studied social care arrangements of European families in five different socio-economic and cultural environments that represent the variety of European welfare states (Finland, France, Italy, Portugal and the UK). It focused on four key family types that all are heavily affected by the ongoing demographic, socio-economic and structural changes within European societies: 1) lone parent families, 2) dual-career families, 3) immigrant families and, 4) “double front carer” families (that have young children and, at the same time, elderly family members in need of care). The project interviewed almost 400 European families in detail about their opportunities and difficulties to make flexible and responsive care arrangements and to combine these with participation in paid employment. These interviews were made in national languages by five national research teams. The interview data was analysed mostly at the national level and reported in national workpackage reports. Moreover, on the basis of the information available in these national reports (and in synopses of interviews), care arrangements and their in/flexibilities in that particular family type were compared in the five European countries. Results of these qualitative comparisons were reported in four comparative workpackage reports of the project. In addition, the SOCCARE Project produced a state-of-the-art report on comparative social care research and finally, a final report. All reports of the SOCCARE Project are freely available at its web site (http://www.uta.fi/laitokset/sospol/soccare/). The findings of the project have been thoroughly disseminated and discussed with policy experts at the local, national and European levels. The final aim of the project has been to provide a major contribution towards shaping a functioning framework for future policies on social care in Europe. Accordingly, the SOCCARE Project gave a number of policy recommendations. A part of these recommendations were based on particular findings from the workpackages but the main recommendations were based on the evidence from the whole project. Recommendations were given for policies on formal care, policies on informal care, labour market policies and other social policies (including housing policies, immigration policies, social security policies and social work). According to the final and most general recommendation of the SOCCARE Project, it is highly necessary that policies do away with strict dichotomies. Citizens of Europe are not either workers or carers. They are both at the same time. As well, children, disabled people and older people are not in need of either informal or formal care. Both are essential and practically always, there is a need to integrate both at the level of everyday family life. To face the challenges of the future, an integrated policy perspective on work and care is required in Europe.
    • Nonconventional forms of intimacy and migration: towards a micro-situated and emotion-based model of social inclusion

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (2014-06)
      A growing literature on same-sex parenthood supports the argument that nonconventional forms of intimacy and care represent an opportunity to explore possible venues of resistance against macro-structural forces while at the same time avoiding marginalisation. My findings from a previous research on family care conducted in the US show that same-sex parents, by gaining social visibility, enriching and changing the possible definitions of family and parenthood, and challenging hegemonic sexualities, simultaneously distance themselves from homonormative definitions of family and marginalising definitions of cultural citizenship based on hegemonic heterosexuality. The theoretical framework of my research drew on those aspects of the sociology of emotions that, in explaining how feelings can reproduce social stratification, connect micro- and macro-levels, making intimacy, care and emotion central to understand how situated interactions reproduce social structure. Migrant LGBT people share many of the issues and concerns of heterosexual migrant people who are forced to live separated from their partners and/or families, but their experience can be made more complicated by their sexualities, biographies and histories. Their (private) stories and experiences are not only relevant to them, but also to the wider communities of migrant people and to their civil, legal, social and cultural rights. The right to visibility, the right to dignifying and dignified representation, the right to affirmation of identity, and the right to appreciation and valuing of differences also apply to many other forms of cultural citizenship currently denied. The relatively invisible experiences of LGBT transnational families may have therefore important implications in terms of social change and citizenship. Situating the debate of LGBT citizenship within the context of migration allows us to overcome misleading dualisms between marginalisation and incorporation and to look for anti-assimilationist strategies of inclusion. Thus, the nonviolent, micro-situated and emotion-based model of social change represented by these cultural entrepreneurs can perhaps be exported to other social groups, contexts and settings, creating the foundations for more caring, more just and more inclusive societies.
    • Not so usual families: overlaps and divergences in the practice of care within disabled and same-sex families

      Pratesi, Alessandro; Runswich-Cole, Katherine (Serials Publications, 2011)
      This article draws on two qualitative studies on family care conducted in the US and the UK (between 2006 and 2008 the first one and between 2008 and 2011 the second one). It highlights convergences and divergences in the care practices of disabled and same-sex families, and illustrates the importance of shedding light on both the ‘bright’ and ‘dark’ sides of care. Adding a focus on different kinds of carers is not only important theoretically—to fill the gaps—but also strategically—to increase equality. Since difference and inequality co-determine one another, and since heterosexism and ableism will undoubtedly continue, the inclusion of diverse subjects into the discourse on ‘care’, the contextualization of care within situated interaction (Ridgeway and Correll, 2000), and the accent on the positive/energizing aspects of care might be the most effective way not only to achieve greater care related equality but also to increase the symbolic importance that people attach to this crucial social phenomenon.
    • Participatory design for future care related technologies: lessons from the Smart Distress Monitor Project

      Pratesi, Alessandro; Sixsmith, Judith; Woolrych, Ryan (Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, 2012)
      The impact of care related technology on older people’s health and well-being is growing constantly and at a rapid pace. Participatory approaches to the design and development of care related technology have become increasingly common; however, these approaches have often included older people simply as test participants, rather than co-researchers, in the evaluation of developing technologies. This paper presents a participatory project involving older people in the design and development of an intelligent activity/inactivity monitoring system for domestic environments. In order to be successful, the development of such a system must be viewed less as a technological challenge and more as the creation of an integrated socio-technical system in which technology is functional to the people and organisations involved.
    • Please, just call us parents: engaging with inclusive approaches to research with marginalised communities

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (Sense Publishers, 2012-05-25)
    • The politics of care: same-sex parenthood, emotional dynamics and social change.

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (2013-10)
      Care is a fundamental component of people’s life, with significant implications in terms of status and power dimensions, social justice, equality and social change. Nevertheless, care related policies tend to be defined in neutral terms, reinforcing inequalities based on gender, class, race/ethnicity, age, able-bodiness and sexual orientation. Moreover, the literature on care tends to be focused on its costs and responsibilities, while less attention is paid to the right to care and its consequences in terms of status inclusion or exclusion. The study here presented aimed at rethinking the phenomenon of care in a broader perspective, by offering a qualitative analysis that also includes non-conventional caregivers. It builds on the findings of an empirical research on informal care conducted in the USA between 2005 and 2007. The theoretical framework draws on those aspects of the Sociology of Emotions that, in explaining how feelings motivate conformity and social stratification, connect micro- and macro-levels, making care, emotion and sexual orientation central to understand how situated interactions reproduce social structure. The phenomenological analysis of the different meanings and implications of care discussed in this paper sheds light into important and yet less visible and still unexplored aspects of care concerning status and power dimensions. More specifically, it highlights the emotional dynamics thorough which informal care can produce unexpected outcomes in terms of status inclusion and self-empowerment. The implications of more inclusive approaches to Care are crucially important for current debates within social sciences. Situating the debate on same-sex parenthood within the context of care allows us to reframe the discourse on care and reduce the inequalities traditionally connected to this fundamental activity; but it also allows to overcome the misleading dualism between marginalisation and incorporation and to look for anti-assimilationist strategies of inclusion and social change.
    • The ‘possibility’ of happiness: going beyond the discreet charm of happiness.

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (2015-08)
      Happiness is not a new subject of philosophical, anthropological and sociological inquiry; however, a growing body of interdisciplinary literature has been published on the so-called science and economics of happiness, especially in the last ten years. Up to the point that some scholars have described such phenomenon in terms of ‘happiness turn’ or, more critically, in terms of ‘happiness industry’: a growing literature provides instruction on how to be happy, drawing on a variety of disciplines, including economics, sociology, psychology, history and social policy, and happiness is both produced and consumed through such literature as a form of emotional, cultural and social capital. Whilst research on happiness has stimulated some critical reflection on potentially deceptive assumptions on happiness, it still tends to locate happiness in certain places, commonly described as the ‘primary happiness indicators’, and to be trapped, as a result, into conventional, dominant and somehow prescriptive definitions of happiness. The prescriptive power of happiness as the arguable object of human desire manifests itself in describing not only what we allegedly aim for but also what we should aim for. Moreover, there are significant terminological issues, ambivalences and grey areas implicit in the contemporary uses of the words ‘happiness’ and ‘happy’. Even assuming that happiness may be associated with ‘feeling good’, can we assume that unhappiness automatically involves ‘feeling bad’ and not rather ‘feeling good in a different way’ or simply wishing things were different? Based on Sarah Ahmed’s critique of the intrinsic conservative power of happiness and her proposal of ‘rethinking happiness as possibility’ (Ahmed, 2010), which involves giving voice to silenced subjects and introducing issues of difference and inequality into current debates about happiness, my contribution aims to open up a discussion on how more inclusive, reliable and situated definitions of happiness can be attained in contemporary societies. In other words, it aims to discuss the potential contribution of those ‘unequally entitled social actors’ who have been conventionally banished from the dominant discourse on happiness—such as feminists, sexual and ethnic minorities—and their capacity to produce alternative and unconventional forms of contextual and situational happiness which may be able to intersect and overcome traditional and misleading dichotomies. Using examples from my previous research on family care, my study intends to analyse the ‘possibility’ of happiness by situating it in empirical, phenomenological contexts and going beyond its categorical, ideological and dogmatic definitions.
    • The Productivity of Care

      Pratesi, Alessandro; University of Chester (Routledge, 2013)
      The ethic of care has developed to become a body of theory that has expanded from its roots in social psychology to many other disciplines in the social sciences as well as the humanities. This work on care has informed both theory and practice by generating complex accounts of care ethics for multiple and intersecting kinds of relationships, and for a variety of domains and contexts. Its application now extends from the moral to the political realm, from personal to public relationships, from the local to the global, from feminine to feminist virtues and values, and from issues of gender to issues of power and oppression. The developments in the theories and applications of care ethics over the past few decades make this book an appropriate and timely publication. It includes chapters by authors who are developing or expanding theories of care ethics and also by those who work on applying and extending insights from care ethics to practices and policies in personal and institutional settings. Care Ethics provides readers from different disciplines and professional groups with a substantial number of new theories and applications from both new and established authors. This book was originally published as two special issues of Ethics and Social Welfare.