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Nurs Inq. 2014 Sep;21(3):227-37. doi: 10.1111/nin.12046. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

Intersectional perspectives on family involvement in nursing home care: rethinking relatives' position as a betweenship.

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Division of Nursing, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.


This study seeks to understand, in the context of intersectional theory, the roles of family members in nursing home care. The unique social locus at which each person sits is the result of the intersection of gender, status, ethnicity and class; it is situational, shifting with the context of every encounter. A content analysis of 15 qualitative interviews with relatives of nursing home residents in Sweden was used to gain a perspective on the relationships between relatives and residents, relatives and the nursing home as an institution, and relatives and the nursing home staff. We sought to understand these relationships in terms of gendered notions of the family and the residents, which are handed down from generation to generation and thus condition who and how relatives should be involved in care, and the ways in which relationships change as care moves from home to nursing home. It requires knowledge and awareness that the nursing home culture is based on intersectional power structures in order for relatives to be involved in nursing home care in alternative and individual ways.


elder care; institutional care; intersectional perspective; involvement; nursing homes; nursing staff; power structure; relatives

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