• 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.
    • Neoliberalism and the power of globalization

      Powell, Jason; Coventry University (NOVA Publishers, 2013-12-01)
    • 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.
    • New Perspectives on China and Aging

      Cook, Ian; Powell, Jason; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Nova Science Publishers, 2007-10-18)
      The first part of the book is entitled ‘Family, Transitions and Aging’ and addresses rapid social and economic changes in China through a kaleidoscope of differential perspectives that focus on how family continues to be an important reference point for the past, present and future institution in the care of older people. The second part of the book focuses on the tangible social forces associated with managing old age: ‘Welfare, Consumption and Aging’. This section is important in locating the structures and agents of power that are relevant to maintaining trust and social relations between older people, the Chinese State and its dualism of state welfare and consumption of welfare.
    • 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.
    • Obesity and health: Understanding the issues in Pakistani women living in the UK

      Ludwig, Alison F.; Ellahi, Basma; Cox, Peter; University of Chester (British Sociological Association, 2008)
    • Object in focus: The cargo bike

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (British Society for the History of Science, 2015-10)
      Two images of carrier tricycles, built almost a century apart. The first is from a 1912 catalogue in the archives from the Deutsches Museum in Munich. The second is a Christiana Bike from a recent catalogue. At a glance, they appear to show remarkable continuity, even the longevity of a single technological artifact. But their histories tell hidden stories of social change, in shops and shopping, of counter-culture and alternative lifestyle, and of the convergence of environmental sustainability and economic efficiency in the 21st century.
    • Oil Corrupts Elections: The Political Economy of Vote-Buying in Nigeria

      Francis, Suzanne; Onapajo, Hakeem; Uzodike, Ufo; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal (University of Florida, Center for African Studies, 2015-03)
      The extant perspectives on vote-buying have produced three central arguments around its causes, which are the factors of poverty, the electoral/voting system, and the nature of politics in the state. Going beyond these perspectives, this study presents the argument that vote-buying can also be explained by considering the nature of the political economy of a state, especially when the state is oil-‑dependent. The Nigerian case study demonstrates this argument. We employ the “oil-impedes-democracy” framework, which is a strand of the resource curse theory, to argue that the incidence of vote‑buying in Nigeria’s contemporary elections is prevalent because of the oil wealth associated with politics and elections in the state. This is because abundant oil wealth intensifies elite competition, which explains the use of all strategies to win elections including vote-buying. This is also facilitated by the fact that the political elite, especially the incumbent, have adequate access to oil wealth and spend it to “buy” elections and hold on to power. Voters, on their part, also prefer to sell their votes during elections to have a share of the “national cake” given their perception of the wealth associated with politics in Nigeria and the poor service delivery by politicians after assuming state offices.
    • Old age, victimisation and crime

      Powell, Jason; Coventry University (Sacha and Diamond Academic Publishers, 2014)
      This article explores old age as an important sociological and legal dimension of analysis and dissects its relationship to victimisation and contemporary crime.
    • Old age, vulnerability and sexual violence: implications for knowledge and practice

      Jones, Helen; Powell, Jason; Leeds Beckett University; University of Chester (Wiley, 2006-09-10)
      This paper seeks to offer further analysis on the relationship between abuse of power, elder abuse and sexual violence. Importantly, current definitions are examined and the existing literature is reviewed to establish what the current level of debate is on sexual violence in its relationship to elderly women. We conclude that marginalization results in inadequate redress to issues of violence and power that may manifest against the older person, and which leads to feelings of vulnerability. There are important implications for helping health professionals, especially nurses, for understanding the policy, theory and practice. The need for empirical research in this difficult area is paramount.
    • Ongoing processes of managing consent: the empirical ethics of using video-recording in clinical practice and research

      O'Reilly, Michelle; Parker, Nicola; Hutchby, Ian; University of Leicester (Sage, 2011-12-05)
      Using video to facilitate data collection has become increasingly common in health research. Using video in research, however, does raise additional ethical concerns. In this paper we utilise family therapy data to provide empirical evidence of how recording equipment is treated. We show that families made a distinction between what was observed through the video by the reflecting team and what was being recorded onto videotape. We show that all parties actively negotiated what should and should not go ‘on the record’ with particular attention to sensitive topics and the responsibility of the therapist. Our findings have important implications for both clinical professionals and researchers using video data. We maintain that informed consent should be an ongoing process and with this in mind we present some arguments pertaining to the current debates in this field of health care practice.
    • Online participation in the UK: Testing a 'contextualised' model of internet effects

      Gibson, Rachel; Lusoli, Wainer; Ward, Stephen (Blackwell, 2005-11-01)
      This article discusses a new test of the mobilisation thesis on how the internet effects political participation. The data is taken from a May 2002 NOP survey of 1972 UK adults.
    • Out of the frying pan into the fire. Education, counselling and target-driven culture.

      Egeli, Cemil; University of Chester (PCCS Books, 2018-06-31)
      I write my review as a conversation between three aspects of my working self - a teacher, lecturer (in counselling skills) and a counsellor, I shall abbreviate these to T L C – I think the world needs more of it.
    • The paradoxes of cyclotourism: Constructing and consuming nature

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (2013-08-14)
      As an archetypal form of low carbon footprint travel, bicycle tourism appears on the surface to be an ideal candidate for sustainable tourism. Taking a longer historical view, however, one begins to become aware of complex paradoxes emerging from cyclotourist practices. Examination of cyclotourists’ own writings shows how nature and the natural have been successively constructed as an object of discourse. Two themes are of especial interest in this study. First, a discourse of wilderness and otherness is apparent as a key theme reinvented in differing forms by successive generations of riders and writers. Second, there is a parallel discourse of domestication at work in which nature and the natural become tamed and part of the human. Although apparently contradictory, these two themes are deeply intertwined in the literature: the cyclotourist is simultaneously both apart from the landscape and yet belongs in it. Further, the relationship between rider and the spaces ridden has had consequences in terms of the built environment as cyclists pioneered road improvements, transforming the object of their narrative. The paper draws principally on archival material from The Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) in the UK (founded 1878) to explore changing constructions of, and attitudes toward, ‘nature’. It chronicles changing attitudes and it analyses the production and reproduction of discourses and maps their transformation through the 20th century. In conclusion it also points to the ambiguities and contradictions inherent in contemporary cyclotourist practices as these have become much more closely enmeshed in the fossil fuel economy through changes in modes of activity.
    • Parents’ resistance of anticipated blame through alignment strategies: a discursive argument for temporary exclusion of children from family therapy.

      Kiyimba, Nikki; O'Reilly, Michelle; University of Chester; University of Leicester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015-09-02)
      In this chapter, we utilise a discourse perspective to explore ways in which parents manage therapeutic alignment in family therapy. As therapy is an activity which relies heavily on the use of language (McLeod, 2001), we use a language-based analytic approach to explore child mental health, particularly as discourse analysis is most appropriate for looking at family therapy processes (Roy-Chowdhury, 2003). In this chapter, we present a case for the deliberate temporary exclusion of children in the initial stages of a series of therapeutic sessions. The purpose of this temporary exclusion is to provide opportunities for therapists to engage in active solution-focused alignment with parents in order to provide a foundation and set boundaries for later work with the whole family. We also argue that while this initial session with parents is taking place, the child could be otherwise engaged in a session of their own so that the child’s perspective and expectations are also managed effectively.
    • 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.
    • Pastoral supervision for clergy and pastoral workers: A personal perspective

      Gubi, Peter M.; University of Chester (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2016-07-01)
    • Permission to be kind to myself’. The experiences of informal carers of those with a life-limiting or terminal illness of a brief self-compassion-based self-care intervention

      Diggory, Kate; Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2021-09-19)
      Background: Informal carers of someone with a life-limiting or terminal illness often experience marked levels of depression, anxiety and stress. Carers have limited free time to devote to lengthy, well-being interventions. Carers also struggle to prioitorize their self-care, a factor which may help buffer some of the negative impacts of being a carer. The aim of this study was to gain insight into carers’ views and perceptions of a brief, four session face to face self-compassion intervention for carers (iCare) which was created to improve well- being, increase self-compassion and develop self-care among carers. In so doing, this qualitative research addresses gaps in the literature relating to self-compassion interventions for carers and targeted self-care initiatives for carers. Method: Semi-structured interviews with nine participants of iCare were conducted and data subjected to a reflexive thematic analysis within a critical realist framework. Findings: A number of themes and sub-themes were identified. Carers discovered a kinder, less judgemental way of seeing themselves allowing themselves to recognize that they had their own individual needs. In turn this led to an intentional practise of self-care activities. Benefits from conscious self-care and self-kindness included experiencing a greater sense of calm or relaxation and the development of a more positive outlook. Conclusion: The findings highlight that a brief self-compassion intervention can have a positive impact on carers reported well-being through developing a kindlier internal orientation and locating a permission to allow themselves to practise an intentional self-care.