South Asian Indian ageing: A qualitative investigation into expectations of co-residence and care amongst second and third generation adults of South Asian Indian origin in Leicester
AuthorsJethwa, Hansa K.
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractAbstract Today in the United Kingdom (UK), ageing is considered to be an important aspect of social life in general and although overall South Asian Indians (SAIs) are relatively young compared to the indigenous white population, the number over the age of 60 is rapidly increasing. Over the last decade or so evidence-based practice within social work has been given a great deal of emphasis in public and professional life. This study is based in this spirit and emanates from personal and professional experience of working with an ageing population from a South Asian Indian background and focuses on the second and third generation of this settled minority. The aspect of co-residence within South Asian Indian cultures has been given little attention both within academic and professional studies. The key aims underpinning this work and of the research reported in this thesis were to illuminate and explicate the problematical and challenging expectations of ageing, co-residence and care within different generations of SAIs in Leicester. Thus this study investigates the expectations of co-residence and care amongst a cohort of second and third generation SAIs who have been settled in the UK for 30 or more years. Using interpretivist theoretical perspectives, 12 participants (8 from the second generation and 4 from the third generation of SAI ‘settlers’) were interviewed using in-depth semi-structured one-to-one interview techniques to collect data regarding their views and understandings of co-residence and care within the context of living in the UK. The data collected was thematically analysed and three themes, co-residence, expectations and acculturation/enculturation were identified for detailed exploration and analysis. Using interpretivist perspectives, these themes were used to identify meaningful patterns of behaviour and sentiment and to analyse the underlying symbolic sociocultural systems within the context of ageing within the SAI community in the United Kingdom. The research highlighted the onset of some enculturation processes and a rapid change in social attitudes, particularly in relation to altruism, concepts of family, a gap in understanding the expectations of co-residence between generations and the impact of these on second generation SAIs. The older participants yearned to be looked after by their adult children, feared being on their own and displayed anxiety at the prospect of not being looked after in their old age. They experienced and expressed concern at a loss of control in the decisions relating to co-residence for their current and future lives. The study points to the lack of wider scale academic and practice-based research studies focused on the impact of changes in culture and family expectations, particularly in relation to co-residence, and recommends that :(a) the academic and professional discourses and theories on ageing incorporate aspects and experiences of migration and diversity of cultures and (b) researchers, practitioners and policy makers examine the needs of the ageing SAI communities in the UK in order to explore policies, procedures and initiatives that could enhance various forms of family living and to develop relevant evidence - based practice. The outcomes of the research have implications for teaching and for practice. This is particularly so in cases where there has been a perceived failure to adopt understandings and practices in response to the identified changes. To this end a flow chart was developed that is recommended to be used as a guide and a tool for initial assessment for practitioners when working with this vulnerable group. It is hoped that this guide will have utility in terms of scope and reach when applied to the analysis and understanding of ageing in SAI communities in the UK.
CitationJethwa, H. K. (2017) 'South Asian Indian ageing: A qualitative investigation into expectations of co-residence and care amongst second and third generation adults of South Asian Indian origin in Leicester', PhD thesis, University of Derby.
PublisherUniversity of Derby
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