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Exploring Older South Asian Migrant (SAM) Women’s Experiences of Old Age and Ageing

Ali, Nafhesa Rosy (2015) Exploring Older South Asian Migrant (SAM) Women’s Experiences of Old Age and Ageing. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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This thesis aims to explore how older (60-87 years) South Asian migrant (SAM) women anticipate and approach old age and ageing experiences across the life course. It draws attention to the ways in which older SAM women construct and (re)negotiate gendered roles across the intersections of gender, ethnicity and age in order to sustain quality of life. In addition to subjective experiences of the life course, this thesis examines how older SAM women (re)negotiate collective cultural identities in the place of migration and settlement.
A qualitative feminist constructionist approach, utilising a transnational life course perspective, has guided the theoretical underpinnings for this research. Moreover, a two-part method has been used, presenting a multi-sited ethnography and life course interviews. Data elicited from the study included ethnographic observations, an ethnographic interview, a reflexive research and observation diary and 16 in-depth life course interviews. The study analysed data using thematic analysis and elicited themes via a thematic analysis network.
In this research, key findings reveal that older SAM women’s experiences of age and ageing intersect with gender roles, responsibilities and obligations that are in turn influenced by positions of authority across the matriarchal hierarchy. Gendered roles, such as, the daughter, wife, becoming a daughter-in-law and mother, mother-in-law and older woman are influenced by cultural values and norms overlaid by patriarchal ideologies. Furthermore, thematic readings show that older SAM women construct, (re)negotiate and access cultural identities in the place of migration through culturally prescribed scripts themed around gender, family and a migrant identity in order to publically display and sustain loyalties to a past homeland, across the life course.
Methodological findings indicate that in order to produce ethical research it is important to recognise the spaces in which the researcher and participant negotiate boundaries, as the researcher’s identity does effect the research process. Recommendations from this research suggest that in order to gain a better understanding of older SAM women’s experiences of old age and ageing, a multi-dimensional theoretical approach to age is required. Moreover, this approach needs to take into account the fluid and overlapping constructs of transcultural, transnational and translocational positionalities which additionally embrace insider/outsider binaries.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2015 15:11
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2018 15:00


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