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An Enveloping Shadow? The Role of the Nursing Home in the Social Imaginary of the Fourth Age

Gilleard, C; Higgs, P; (2017) An Enveloping Shadow? The Role of the Nursing Home in the Social Imaginary of the Fourth Age. In: Chivers, S and Kriebernegg, U, (eds.) Care Home Stories: Aging, disability and long term residential care. (pp. 229-246). Transcript: Bielefeld, Germany. Green open access

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Abstract

In this chapter we consider the nursing home as both a site and a symbol that fashions the social imaginary of a fourth age. Before exploring the nursing home’s dual role, we will first outline the concept of a social imaginary, as well as how the fourth age can be thought of as such a social imaginary. Bearing in mind this conceptual framework, we go on to address some of the ways in which the nursing home plays out its critical role in conferring meanings onto the fourth age, through its organizational culture, its practices of care, and its own representation in the media. The chapter concludes by considering the extent to which the fourth age needs to be acknowledged as a powerful and coherent social representation of much that is feared about later life and how such representations can be challenged within the nursing home, as well as the cautions that need to be exercised when mounting such challenges. This latter point is important in highlighting the tensions that exist in determining what constitutes “good” care under conditions of compromised agency.

Type: Book chapter
Title: An Enveloping Shadow? The Role of the Nursing Home in the Social Imaginary of the Fourth Age
ISBN: 3837638057
ISBN-13: 978-3837638059
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14361/9783839438053-020
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14361/9783839438053-020
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Fourth Age, Nursing Homes
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10025224
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