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Health Care Women Int. 2009 Dec;30(12):1055-72. doi: 10.1080/07399330903141252.

Beyond familism: a case study of the ethics of care of a Latina caregiver of an elderly parent with dementia.

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  • 1Chicana/o Studies Program, University of California, Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA.


Caregiving for elderly relatives with dementia is described as a stressful and challenging obligation that disproportionately befalls women in families. Studies of Latina caregivers tend to focus on how the cultural value of familism shapes caregiving expectations and experiences. However, these studies tend not to distinguish between familism as ideology and familism as practice to evaluate how caregiving may or may not conform to prescribed cultural scripts nor to examine the ethics of care utilized by family caregivers. Through a case study of a second-generation daughter, we explore the nuances of an ethics of care that constitute her caregiving experiences and the tensions generated by efforts to respect divergent cultural mandates.

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