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Older people’s assets in assisted living: Habitus as a normative structure of materiality
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5295-2482
2014 (English)In: 8th International Conference on Cultural Gerontology, 2014Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When older people move into an assisted living facility they have to make a highly restricted selection of what assets to bring to their new home. This presentation aims to give an analysis of these assets with the support of Bourdieu’s concept of habitus. Habitus refers to the lifestyle, values, tastes and dispositions of a particular social group that are attained through the activities and experiences of everyday life. The presentation is based on qualitative data that were collected by interviews and observations in the participants’ bedsitting-rooms in the facilities. The study revealed strong similarities in what the participants had brought, both at a specific point of time and over time. Most participants were born during the 20s and their life-course was epitomized by a small variety of furniture items and decorations that mirrored the fashions dominating each decade of the 20th century. Various items reflected the working-class background that most of the participants shared. For instance, a colorful aspect echoed the interest in art that was encouraged by the working-class movement as part of its educational ambitions for workers from the 30s onwards in Sweden. The study revealed few gender differences, with the exception of leisure time activities that the participants had pursued. The presentation concludes that the habitus lingers on and also influences the choices made during a move to assisted living. It becomes, as such, normative also in the context of the last home in life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Assisted living, materiality, possessions, older people
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106045OAI: diva2:713058
8th International Conference on Cultural Gerontology, 10-12 April 2014, Galway, Ireland
Att skingra hemmet. Tingens förändrade betydelse under livets sena skeden och övergångar
Swedish Research Council, 2009-1460
Available from: 2014-04-17 Created: 2014-04-17 Last updated: 2015-04-22

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Nord, Catharina
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NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later LifeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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