New challenges of ageing: exploring configurations of ageing and care in the context of migration
Monika Palmberger (University of Vienna)
Paper short abstract:
This paper ethnographically explores new configurations of ageing and care in the context of migration. It analyzes lived effects of the tension between exclusion from institutionalized care and inclusion or the feelings of social embeddedness in community centres among ageing migrants in Vienna.
Paper long abstract:
Due to increased mobility and migration, many people today do not spend old age in their country of origin, a fact that is in many cases politically marginalized. This is also the case for labour migrants, who came to Austria as so called 'guest workers'. Today they constitute a significant part of Vienna's older population, but are widely omitted in (policy-oriented) studies on Austria's older population, e.g. concerning ageing and care. This paper ethnographically explores new configurations of ageing and care in the context of migration. It analyzes multiple understandings of transnational ageing experiences of Turkish labor migrants and their spouses by focusing on their social embeddedness in Vienna's Turkish community centers (including mosques). These centers provide an important place of caring via strengthening the old and introducing new, (trans)national social ties. Moreover, they are places where ideas of transnational living arrangements are shared and evaluated and the absence of culturally sensitive care in Vienna is critically assessed. Focusing on these multiple dimensions of care, discrimination, and abandonment, the paper analyzes the lived effects of the tension between exclusion (particularly concerning institutionalized care in Austria) and inclusion or the feelings of social embeddedness experienced in the named community centers. By paying close attention to the specific but multiple experiences of ageing and relations of care among ageing labour migrants in Vienna, this paper aims to enrich anthropological understanding of ageing, migration and transnationalism and the junctures of said fields.
Imagining an old future: anthropological perspectives on age and ageing