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  • 1.
    Machat, Laura
    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.
    Ageless ethnic identifications? Exploring the potentials of combining identity research in ethnic studies with gerontology2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research on identity and ethnicity in the context of migration commonly addresses questions of belonging, being-in-between-cultures, hybridism, diasporic identity, adaptation and integration. These focuses could inadvertently render our understanding of migrants ageless. The demographic trend towards ageing societies and the fact that many are growing old in countries other than the one where they were born suggest that old age may be a fruitful point of departure for the study of identity and ethnicity. This paper will explore the potential fruitfulness embedded in studies of ageing and later life for the study of identification from the standpoint of ethnicity. The concept of the life course, age norms and the ageing body are three elements in gerontological research that will form the point of departure, suggesting that employing an old age lense on ethnicity and identity research may be theoretically profuse. Such perspectives on identities in ageing and later life, may enhance our understanding of identity and identification in relation to ethnicity and migration. Bringing these two fields of identity research together may prove theoretically profuse for our understanding of processes of identification and enable us to begin to understand the theoretical connections between ethnicity and age.

  • 2.
    Machat, Laura
    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.
    An ethnic lens on age identity: Identity research in gerontology and migration and ethnic studies2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research on identity and identification in gerontology has to a large extent concerned itself with the relationship between the self and the body, expressed by metaphors such as the mask and masquerade; role loss in retirement and the making of the self through various senior lifestyles have also been of interest. The inadvertent obliviousness to ethnicity in such research could render our understanding of age(ing) identities ethnicity-free. The increased movement of people through globalisation, transnationalism and international migration and the fact that an increasing number of people grow old in countries other than the one where they were born suggests that an ethnic lens offers a fruitful point of departure for studying identity in old age. This paper will explore the theoretical fruitfulness embedded in identity research on ethnicity for the study of identity and identification in ageing and old age. Three areas in the field of migration and ethnic studies, namely questions of belonging (with the significance of place), cultural diversity and cultural adaptation, will be in focus. The paper will argue that gerontology’s understanding of processes of identification could benefit from launching empirical studies that explore the theoretical connections between age and ethnicity.

  • 3.
    Machat, Laura
    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.
    Bilden av "äldre invandrare" i äldrepolitiken2010In: Invandrarskap, äldrevård och omsorg / [ed] Sandra Torres & Finnur Magnusson, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2010, p. 55-68Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Vad innebär det att arbeta med äldre utlandsfödda i skandinavisk äldreomsorg? Vilken betydelse för äldrevården och omsorgen får de erfarenheter som omsorgspersonal med invandrarbakgrund har?I den här boken problematiseras de tre begrepp som internationaliseringen av äldrevården och omsorgen tangerar: etnicitet, invandrarskap och ålder, och hur de förhåller sig till varandra.Författarna diskuterar vilka bilder som ges av äldre invandrare i socialpolitiska sammanhang och hur dessa påverkar de tvärkulturella möten som dagligen äger rum i äldrevård och omsorgssammanhang. Andra teman i boken är hur föreställningar om personal med invandrarbakgrund påverkar personalens möte med varandra, hur äldre invandrares vård- och omsorgsbehov bemöts och hur olika professioner hanterar invandrarskap i vården och omsorgen av äldre.Boken vänder sig främst till studerande inom socialt arbete, social omsorg och vårdutbildningar, samt till yrkesverksamma inom fältet.Sandra Torres är professor i socialt arbete med inriktning mot äldre vid Mälardalens Högskola och professor II i rehabilitering och äldre vid Högskole i Oslo. Hon är verksam vid National Institute for the Study of Aging and Later Life vid Linköpings Universitet. Finnur Magnússon är docent och lektor i social omsorg med inriktning äldreområdet vid enheten för socialt arbete vid Malmö högskola.

  • 4.
    Machat, Laura
    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.
    Ethnicity and ‘elderly immigrants’ in social policy for older people: the case of Sweden2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    International migration, brought on by globalisation, has been portrayed as a threat to Nordic welfare regimes. With ageing populations already undermining sustainability, the apparent growth in number of elderly immigrants has led to the discursive construction of this category as a social problem. How are ethnicity and ‘elderly immigrants’ thus portrayed in social policy for older people?

    Using a social constructionist perspective, a Swedish social policy document – SENIOR 2005 – has been analysed so as to examine the use of ethnicity and the depiction of ‘elderly immigrants’. SENIOR 2005 is the final product of a parliamentary investigation of the ways in which future social policy can be developed to be sustainable in the long term; it can thus be regarded as one of the bases upon which policy is formed.

    The analysis has brought to light two contrasting ways in which ‘elderly immigrants’ are conceptualised. On the one hand, explicit discussions of ethnicity and ‘elderly immigrants’ focus on flux, diversity and heterogeneity – opposing the picture of a problematic, homogeneous group. On the other hand, ethnicity and ‘elderly immigrants’ are frequently mentioned in connection with a range of problems: poor health, psychological problems, lack of involvement in society, are just some of the qualities ascribed to ‘elderly immigrants’, which ultimately portrays them as a homogeneous group and social problem. In addition, the absence of questions of ethnicity in large parts of the text point to a frame of reference where Swedishness is the norm. Ultimately, ‘elderly immigrants’ are portrayed as a homogenous, marginalised, problematic group that is excluded from the national community of older people.

  • 5.
    Machat-From, Laura
    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.
    Decisions at a crossroads: choosing between interviews and focus groups in research on identity in relation to ethnicity/'race' and old age2011In: 11th Thinking Qualitatively Workshop Series, International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, University of Alberta, 20-24 June 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is concerned with the issue of how to empirically approach questions of identity when identity theoretically is understood as negotiated and situationally defined. Discussing this question in relation to the decision making process in an ongoing dissertation project, the benefits and limitations of interviews on the one hand and focus groups on the other will be explored and discussed. The project in focus is interested in how identity is negotiated in relation to both old age and ethnicity/’race’; the question of when (in which situations), and in relation to whom, old age and ethnicity/’race’ (respectively) become relevant for identity is of particular concern. The openness in which this question is framed rules out e.g. ethnography as this would pre-define the setting; hence individual and focus group interviews are the options under consideration. The question of the role of social positions such as gender, class, ethnicity/’race’ and age in the interviewer-interviewee relationship will also be addressed since it is of central concern in both approaches. Considering some of the methodological complexities and challenges thus posed in this (and similar) research project(s), the paper concludes with reflections on how these may be overcome so as to make it possible to conduct research on identity as negotiated and situationally defined.

  • 6.
    Machat-From, Laura
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division Ageing and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Identity, Old(er) Age and Migrancy: A Social Constructionist Lens2017Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    ldentity research in relation to ethnicity and migration has tended to focus an younger people whilst identity research in relation to ageing and old(er) age has not focused an migrants. This inadvertent mutual neglect has led to a lack of identity research that examines the identity categories of old(er) age and migrancy together, a lacuna that this dissertation aims to redress. This dissertation departs from a social constructionist understanding of identity as situationally accomplished in the interplay between how one defines oneself (internally) and how others define one (externally). The questions raised by this perspective and addressed in this dissertation are: When (in what situations) and in relation to whom do old(er) age and migrancy (respectively) seem to become meaningful for identification? How do the identity categories of old(er) age and migrancy seem to be negotiated? The empirical material consists of in-depth interviews with 24 older migrants (13 men, 11 women) aged between 55 and 79 who have been living in Sweden for 18 to 61 years. Interviewees come from 12 different countries that vary in perceived cultural distance from Sweden. The findings suggest that identifications with old(er) age and migrancy seem to be dynamic and flexible rather than necessarily permanently meaningful, thus gaining meaning in specific situations and in relation to particular Others. External definitions furthermore do not always seem to match with internal ones. Regardless of how old(er) age and migrancy are constructed, they seem to be negotiable. This dissertation thus contributes to identity research by studying old(er) age and migrancy together and furthermore sheds light onto how the social constructionist lens allows us to see variability where stability otherwise would be presumed.

  • 7.
    Machat-From, Laura
    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.
    Migrantship and old age: Intersecting social positions2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    While the concept of intersectionality has increasingly established itself in the social sciences over the past two decades, the intersections of some social positions have received more attention than others. One intersection that has received less attention thus far is that between old age and migrantship (i.e. ‘ethnic otherness’ resulting from migration). This presentation addresses this intersection with a particular focus on identity and identification pertaining to these two positions (and, where relevant, other positions such as gender and class as well). The base for this discussion is empirical data in the form of 24 interviews with individuals aged between 55 and 79 who were born in 12 different countries and have lived in Sweden between 18 and 61 years. Informed by a social constructionist perspective, the analysis explores the hows and whens of identifications with various social positions, with a particular interest in the interplay between migrantship and old age. The aim of the presentation is hence to contribute to our theoretical understanding of how different social positions intersect and mediate constructions of identities.

  • 8.
    Machat-From, Laura
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division Ageing and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Negotiating the Identity Categories of Old(er) Age and Migrancy: A Social Constructionist Lens2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Given the concurrent trends of population ageing and the globalization of international migration, more and more people are ageing in countries other than the ones in which they were born. The resulting growing number of older migrants has led to an increased interest in this population both in social gerontology and in migration and ethnic studies. One area of research in which this has become apparent is in the small but growing literature on identity among older migrants. What this literature thus far has not yet examined together are the two identity categories of old(er) age and migrancy (i.e. perceived difference from the native population resulting from migration). The present paper departs from a social constructionist understanding of identity as accomplished in the interplay between internal (self-)definitions and external definitions (by others). When (in what situations) and in relation to whom are identities pertaining to old(er) age and migrancy asserted or ascribed? How are the identity categories of old(er) age and migrancy negotiated? The presentation is based upon empirical material in the form of 24 interviews with individuals aged between 55 and 79 who were born in 12 different countries and have lived in Sweden between 18 and 61 years. The overall aim of the presentation is to shed light onto how the identity categories of old(er) age and migrancy are negotiated.

  • 9.
    Machat-From, Laura
    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.
    Not (just) 'old': Identity, migranthip, old age and the gerontological imagination2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This presentation focuses on identity in old age as a field which can be expanded through the use of both a social positions lens and, more specifically, an ethnicity/’race’ lens. It first discusses the results of a review of literature on identity in old age which has explored the role that social positions (i.e. gender, ethnicity/’race’, class, (dis)ability, sexual orientation) have played in this body of research. Finding that all social positions but gender in fact largely have been neglected in this field thus far, it is argued that the inclusion of social positions in future research on identity in old age is key to advancing this field. Then, the presentation proceeds to present preliminary find- ings from a study of identity in old age that has incorporated an ethnicity/’race’ perspective. The project in question focuses on identity negotiations in relation to old age and migrant- ship (i.e. ethnic otherness as the result of migration), explor- ing the intersection between the two. Empirical data consists of 24 individual interviews with 13 foreign-born men and 11 foreign-born women aged between 55 and 79 who have been living in Sweden for 18 to 61 years. With the help of both the review of previous research and the preliminary results from this study (which implements that which the review asks for), it is thus demonstrated how the gerontological imagination can be expanded by way of employing both a social positions lens and an ethnicity/’race’ aware lens.

1 - 9 of 9
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