Chapter

Mapping family history: the genealogy of difficulties and care

Liz Forbat

in Talking about care

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346216
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303671 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861346216.003.0006
Mapping family history: the genealogy of difficulties and care

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This chapter illustrates how people use their life history to articulate meaningful accounts of difficulties within the current care relationship. It begins with a discussion of the function of talk about the past in people's accounts. A summary of each care dyad is then presented, indicating the way genealogies of care and difficulties are woven through the narratives, and setting up the importance of a life-history perspective on the current relationship. Family history is then explored in terms of the way speakers reproduce or resist patterns or cycles of behaviours in their talk. How the positions of carer and caree are taken on or resisted throughout the life course is also considered. This informs thinking more generally about the genealogy of informal care, leading into a discussion of the role of lifelong reciprocity in the provision of care and how this fits with narratives of difficulties and tensions within the relationship. Finally, the potential power of biographical mapping for developing understandings of family care relationships is summarised.

Keywords: life history; care relationship; personal accounts; family care; informal care; biographical mapping

Chapter.  9711 words. 

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