Replicating the Family: The Biopolitics of Involvement Discourses Concerning Relatives in Nursing Home Institutions

Article English OPEN
Jessica Holmgren ; Azita Emami ; Lars E. Eriksson ; Henrik Eriksson (2014)
  • Publisher: University of Ottawa
  • Journal: Aporia (issn: 1918-1345)
  • Subject: RT1-120 | RT | involvement | discourse analysis | nursing staff | nursing home | focus group interviews | Nursing

The aim of this study was to describe the biopolitics of involvement discourses articulated by nursing staff concerning relatives in nursing home institutions, using a Foucault-inspired discourse analytical approach. Previous research has described how relatives have not been involved in nursing homes on their own terms. This is partly due to a lack of communication and knowledge, but it is also a consequence of an unclear organizational structure. Results from a discourse analysis of six focus group interviews with nursing staff show that the “involvement discourse” in nursing homes can be described as a “new” vs “old” family rhetoric. This rhetoric can be said to uphold, legitimize and provide different subject positions for both nursing staff and relatives concerning the conditions for involvement in nursing homes. As part of a “project of possibility” in elderly care, it may be possible to adopt a critical pedagogical approach among nursing staff in order to educate, strengthen and support them in reflecting on their professional norming and how it conditions the involvement of relatives.
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