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Session Overview
RN01_06c_IC: Family & Relationships
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Andreas Mergenthaler, Federal Institute for Population Research
Location: Intercontinental - Ypsilon I
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Level 1

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Siblinghood in the old age

Dana Sýkorová

Palacký University, Faculty of Arts, Czech Republic

The contribution is based on a sociological study on siblinghood in late adulthood (funded by the Czech Science Foundation, No. 17-07321S); its main objective is to understand siblinghood, i.e. to discover seniors’ lived experience of siblinghood, ways of action in sibling relationships, key elements of the situation and their mutual interconnection – social worlds, arenas, in which siblings are rooted (see action-centred and situation-centred approaches) by means of the constructivist grounded theory. On the basis of an analysis of data from in-depth interviews, the author’s contribution will outline (1) the core of elderly individuals’ experience of siblinghood, meanings acquired by bonds among them; show (2) conditions, circumstances forming the context of contacts, relationships and exchange of support among siblings, (3) processes of negotiation sibling bonds. She will present sibling relationships as part of the network of relationships in the family of origin and siblings’ procreation families from the perspective of the research. She will also view siblinghood in late age through the life course perspective, enabling to capture the influence of personal experience from the previous stages of life, events in the course of siblings’ lives, interweaving of their family paths with the other life trajectories on negotiation of meanings of siblinghood.

The author compares the results of the qualitative data analysis with current competing theories/concepts of family relationships (the theory of kinship solidarity; the concept of kinship ambivalence).

Family relationships and food practices within french public retirement homes for autonomous elderly

Agathe Mathilde Zuddas

Université de Lille, France, Solal INRA, France

Public policies establish solitude and undernutrition of elderly as major risks of ageing and public health concerns, elaborating nutrition plans and professional domestic help programs to solve them. Though, previous studies have shown the crucial role of families in domestic help and social interaction at old ages, in private housing as well as in nursing homes.

In France, 110000 elderlies live in public homes for autonomous people. They provide private appartments in a collective building offering various services. They are supposed to fight isolation and foster “autonomy”, spreading “well eating” and “well ageing” messages, through daily activities and collective lunch particularly.

In this paper, we examine the effects of this specific institutional context on family relationships at old age, analyzing them through food practices, as they are part of the public concerns: how do relatives still play their part in their relatives'live? What happens for childless people? How is the experience of ageing impacted?

To answer these questions, we made a content analysis of data collected through ethnographic observations and biographical interviews, in three nursing homes for independent elderly (two months in each institution), set into varied neighborhoods with regarding the urban environment and the public transportation. The analysis focuses particularly on the interviews with the residents.

It suggests that even in a context where help can be provided by the institution, families use food in different ways to maintain relationships between younger and older members. Besides, food practices reveal changes in familial roles, as new generations come in the game, and elderly modify their day-today routine. Furthermore, the institution organization use food as support to foster sociability of the inhabitants.

Characteristics of the interpersonal networks of old people in Hungary

Fruzsina Albert1,2

1Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, Hungary; 2Center for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

The presentation aims to describe the ego-centric interpersonal networks of the 60+ years old Hungarian adult population in detail, based on data gathered in the framework of the Hungarian National Research Fund study „Integrative and disintegrative processes in the Hungarian society” in 2015. The dimensions in focus are: partnership relations, core discussion networks (based on the GSS survey name generaton question), friendship and weak ties (based on the position-generateor by Lin and Dumin). The analysis describes the above mentioned dimensions by basic socio-demographic variables, creates a network-typology and present links of interpersonal network characteristics to life satisfaction. It tries to put the findings in international context and it also includes conclusions based on the findings with policy relevance.

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