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Weaving rugs, networks and subjectivities: processes of re(de-)(co)construction of bonds in old age

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Stella Crivelenti Vilar
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Ribeirão Preto.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (PCARP/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Katia de Souza Amorim; Adriana de Oliveira Alcântara; Natalia Alves Barbieri; Marina Simões Flório Ferreira Bertagnoli; Maria Clotilde Therezinha Rossetti Ferreira; Geraldo Romanelli
Advisor: Katia de Souza Amorim

Research on human ageing has increased in the last few decades, boosted by the concept of health ageing, by the WHO, which brings a preventive perspective of maintaining the quality of life of the elders, by making environmental changes that further this condition (service offers, qualification for caretakers, policy promotion, among others). Along with that, on Developmental Psychology, the most recent theories consider old age as a life period when development also happens, in spite of understanding it only as decline, like previously considered. By that gaze, an important factor to maintain life quality in old age is the presence of affective bonds, combined with the quality of the support given by the social network. However, when discussing this point, scientific literature focuses mainly on the social network of the elders who presents any type of morbidity. Furthermore, there are many studies centered on the quality of life of the caretaker, in spite of the elders\'. There is an elevate number of researches aiming to scan bonds or supportive social networks through a quantitative approach, investigating the qualitative aspects poorly. That being said, this research aims to identify and analyze affective bonds and the processes by which they were formed, maintained or broken by the elders. In order to achieve this, observing the diversity among the elderly in Brazil, the scope was to study elders with different levels of dependency and vulnerability, coming from multiple contexts: a Nursing Home, a Health Unity and a Community Centre. To achieve this, there were interviewed nine elders above 70 years, males and females, three from each context. It was applied a scanning instrument for social network (Convoy Diagram) and, afterwards, three half-structured interviews were conducted with each participant. The whole process of research, from object conception to discussion, as well as the corpus construction, was based on the theoretical and methodological perspective of the Network of Meanings, grounded on cultural-historical theories, and which considers human development in intimate correlation with the social environment. Our analysis verified that the elders in the social and geographic area studied are members, in their majority (eight in nine), of a generation of rural migrants, this background having an impact on their sociability and their relations with other generations nowadays. There was shown no relevant difference in the way elders bond whether they are or not institutionalized. Distinctions were noticed in their conception of self according to their level of education and the feeling of belonging to a group, either neighborhood, the institution or the religious community. The meanings that help to build care relations are also multiple, according to social class, gender and ethnicity. In relation to the facilities, it was noticed how their configuration can promote or not the maintenance and construction of bonds by the elderly. It was clear, at last, the relevance of interpersonal bonds not only to offer a social support to the elderly, but also to introduce someone along whom they can elaborate stories (imagined, at times) about themselves, being able to reframe the current situation, frequently of dependency and limitations. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 17/06041-1 - Emotional bonds in old age: (de)(re)construction, continuities and discontinuities
Grantee:Stella Crivelenti Vilar
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)