Dynamics of elderly-caregiving among different socioeconomic groups in Ankara, Turkey

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2017




In the last 20 years, the number of older adults aged 60 and over has been increasing in Turkey in accordance with the increased life expectancy. Accordingly, the needs of ageing population are also changing. However, ageing studies in Turkey do not focus on how these new dynamics are experienced by families. This thesis focuses on how elderly-caregiving is experienced among different socio-economic groups and the effects of this responsibility on their family relations. The study defines caring labour as care for and cares about older adults in order to maintain and sustain their well-being, and searches for how its different dynamics such as physical, mental and emotional labour are experienced by primary caregivers. In order to understand these dynamics, the study employs feminist methodology and life-course perspective. Within this context, 18 in-depth interviews were conducted with both lower and middle socio-economic status (SES) families in Çankaya and Mamak in Ankara. As a result of this study, it is addressed that socio-economic status and gender affect how primary caregivers experience elderly-caregiving. Due to gendered division of caring labour, burden and pleasurable aspects of caring labour are distributed unequally. Thus, women stuck in between love labour and burden. Unearthing the family relations, this study shows that elderly-caregiving is not only related with the relationships of older adults and primary caregivers but also other family members in the household. Due to its new dynamics in the household, female primary caregivers take extra roles on them to maintain relations, which reinforce affective ine qualities.