Öncel Naldemirci, PhD, Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg

Caring (in) Diaspora: Aging and caring experiences of older Turkish migrants in a Swedish context

Caring (in) Diaspora investigates Turkish migrants’ aging experiences and their understandings about care by concentrating on the accounts of a group of first-generation Turkish immigrants who settled in Sweden in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The aim is to explore how older immigrants’ lives have been marked by the experience of migration and re-establishment in another country, how the impact of having once lost caring relations affected their decisions and desires about care in old age. This study examines some common patterns about aging in a host country, ideals of care in old age, encounters with medical institutions, interpretations of formal care facilities, and identity and community construction processes. Rather than generalizing and categorizing cultural, ethnic, or even religious expectations in the case of elderly care, it seeks to grasp the complexity of the migrants’ ideals of care and caring relations by focusing on the positions they take in diaspora space. This study is based on ethnographic research which extended over two years (2011–2013). In this seminar, after giving an overview of the research, I will put emphasis on debates around Turkish migrants’ arrangements at older ages, particularly after retirement, and discuss how healthcare services constitute an important topic in their decision-making.

Öncel Naldemirci received his BA and MA degrees in sociology from Bogazici University, Istanbul and his PhD from the Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg.

Find out more about the Migration cluster at the Department of Social Anthropology.

All seminars in the series.