"When the parents are ageing" - Adult children of care migrants caring for their parents
Urmila Goel (Humboldt University Berlin)
Paper short abstract:
The paper explores how in Germany the adult children of care migrants from India are debating how to take care of their ageing parents in a transnational context.
Paper long abstract:
In the 1970s West German hospitals and homes for the elderly recruited nurses from Southern India. Many of these married men from India and founded families in West Germany. Today the nurses and their husbands after an exhausting professional life are nearing retirement age or are already retired. They have to make decisions where to spend their old age and in particular where they have access to sufficient health care and other forms of care. Most of their children are settled in Germany, have founded their own families there and start thinking about how to care for their ageing parents. The paper is based in particular on participant observation at a weekend workshop for the second generation and their families with the title "When the parents are ageing" and continues long-term ethnographic research on the community of the nurses and their families. It explores how the adult children of the transnational care migrants deal with the consequences of their parents' migration decisions and how they debate their own responsibilities and possibilities for care in a transnational context. It thus analyses how caring about is translated into taking care of, who is given the task of performing care tasks and how the former care givers are expected to behave as care receivers (cf. Fisher and Tronto 1990). Literature: Fisher, Berenice and Joan Tronto (1990): "Toward a Feminist Theory of Caring" In: Emily K. Abel und Margret K. Nelson (1990) (eds.): Circles of Care. Work and Identity in Women's Lives, Albany: State University of New York, 35-62.
Ageing, care and transnational mobilities