Men Doing "Women's Work:" Elderly Men Caregivers and the Gendered Construction of Care Work.

  • Russell R
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Abstract

This article examines the work of elderly men caregivers who care for wives with cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer's type dementia, stroke, brain injury, or other causes. Two specific areas of care work are investigate, meal preparation and personal care, as well as the subjective meanings ascribed to such work. Men's unique strengths and vulnerabilities are explored in relation to life course perspectives on the many meanings of work. From a social constructionist perspective, deeper meanings of manhood and late life masculinity are also interrogated, as men draw upon an array of learned adaptive strategies in meeting the complex demands of care work. This qualitative study was based on in-depth, open-ended interviews with 30 elderly men caregivers in Rochester, New York. Analysis of data reveals that many men struggled with the demands of care work, especially within entrenched gender norms and masculine scripting. Data also demonstrates, however, that men are less avoidant of hands-on, personal care than has been reported in the past. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • AGING
  • CARE of people
  • CAREGIVERS
  • DEMENTIA
  • MEN'S studies
  • OLDER men -- Health
  • care work
  • caregivers
  • dementia
  • gender
  • household labor
  • older men

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Authors

  • Richard Russell

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