Negotiating ageing care 'in and between': three different groups of later-life migrants in the Azores
Dora Sampaio (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)
Paper short abstract:
In this paper, I build on and further extend Ley and Kobayashi's (2005) concept of 'strategic switching' to the specific context of ageing care. Based on fieldwork in the Azores, I discuss the multiple geographies, subjectivities, and negotiations of health care practices among ageing migrants.
Paper long abstract:
In this paper, I build on and further extend Ley and Kobayashi's (2005) concept of 'strategic switching' to the specific context of ageing care. Based on fieldwork in the Azores islands - including participant observation and over 100 in-depth life narrative interviews with labour, lifestyle, and return migrants - I deploy the notion of 'strategic switching' to discuss the multiple geographies and subjectivities of health care practices among the three groups of ageing migrants. I examine the complexities of ageing abroad in later-life and explore the ways in which different types of migrants navigate local and transnational systems and take advantage of different places at different stages of the life-cycle. I consider how these migrants strategically maximise the economic and social capital accumulated over the life course, often in one place, to achieve a better life(style) in another. Accounts of health and ageing care among the research participants reveal the ways in which they capitalise their foreignness and/or (trans)local belonging through mobility and transnational practices in order to secure better ageing care. The paper brings interesting nuances to the existing conceptual discussion on 'strategic switching', demonstrating that the concept may encompass multiple geographies, different types of mobility, and diverse strategies for negotiating home in both 'affective' and 'instrumental' ways, according to migrants' needs for health support and care later in life.
Ageing, care and transnational mobilities