Cultures of care

Authored by: Michael Fine

Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415631143
eBook ISBN: 9780203097090
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221033


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The need for care is universal, yet there is no universal template for providing it. Care is needed by those who reach advanced age and require assistance as a result of chronic illness or disability. All people need it in the first years of life, during periods of illness or misadventure (Fineman 1995). In our everyday relations, care is expressed as both caring about another, a disposition or concern for the wellbeing of another person, and caring for, the work involved in supporting another (Graham 1983). In practical terms, care may be thought of as the most intense expression of social support, involving not just affective concern for the other but the performance of care work and an expression of personal relationships (Chappell 1992, Rummery and Fine 2012).

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