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MigMob-workshop: Ageing Immigrants and the Welfare State

Arranged by the research unit on Migration and Mobility, Faculty of ARTS

2017.08.28 | Nynne Visbo-Bomose

Date Tue 10 Oct
Time 14:00 16:15
Location Building 1485 room 123, Nobelparken, Jens Chr. Skous Vej, 8200 Aarhus

Ageing Immigrants and the Welfare State

A growing number of immigrants, settled in Scandinavia since the 1970s, are leaving the labour market and enter “the fourth age” of old age. Many suffer from various health conditions and are in need of care. This obviously creates numerous challenges within the families and add new dimensions to their relationship with state institutions. In this workshop, we discuss some of the challenges immigrant families struggle with in relation to ageing and the organisation of everyday life in the homes and households. How may the process and experience of ageing differ between women and men? How may having an ageing family member in the house affect relationships based on gender and generations? How is care-work distributed within the household and to what extent do transnational connections have a role to play? Finally, we also discuss to what extent the welfare-states in Sweden and Denmark have responded in different ways to the fact that a growing group of the population seems not to be keen on using public nursing homes. 

Tuesday, October 10

14.00-14.10 Welcome, Mikkel Rytter

14.10-14.45 Emilia Forssell:  Older migrants, transnational care arrangements and local welfare contexts

14.45-15.20 Anika Liversage: Sources of support for older Turkish immigrants in Denmark

15.20-15.35 Coffee

15.35-16.15 Wrap up and discussion, w. Marianne Fibiger and Mikkel Rytter


Presentations and abstracts:

Emilia Forssell / The Department of social sciences; Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College


Older migrants, transnational care arrangements and local welfare contexts

The increase in migration and a growing proportion of older migrants in the population have led to a growing significance of transnational care practices in Western welfare societies. Emilia Forssell will present a research project in the planning phase with the purpose to contribute with empiric knowledge about transnational care practices in Sweden. The responsibility for elder care in Sweden lies on the 290 municipalities in the country. The forms, and distribution, of the public eldercare vary between them. The experiences of older migrants are at the core of this project, that will include interviews with older migrants receiving care in Sweden, politicians, leading civil servants at the local and national level and representatives of care providers including private care providers acting within the framework of the Law on Freedom of Choice System (LOV). The latter are considered as important actors in enabling transnational care practices.

This project is designed by Emilia Forssell (project manager, associate professor Social work) and Johan Vamstad (associate professor Political Science), Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College in Stockholm (http://www.esh.se/in-english/ersta-skondal-hogskola---english.html).

Anika Liversage / VIVE – The Danish Centre for Applied Social Science


Sources of support for older Turkish immigrants in Denmark

To deepen our understanding of older migrants' attitudes towards, and use of, private as well as public sources of support in old age, this presentation draws on interviews with 39 older Turks, living in Denmark. The interviews show that some older immigrants avoid using home help, as it is considered disruptive to their home life, because of difficulties communicating with the home helpers, and due to dissatisfaction with the quality of services provided. The ability to avoid using home help may depend on older immigrants instead receiving help from younger, mostly female, family members, leading to, for example, some daughters and daughters-in-law performing quite demanding care tasks. Similarly, register data show that rates of intergenerational cohabitation amongst older immigrants from Turkey far exceeds the Danish national average, also indicating that family support plays a central role in such families.

Moderators and discussants


Marianne Q. Fibiger (Department for Science of Religion) and Mikkel Rytter (Department of Anthropology). 

CAS, Workshop, Antropologi, Religionsvidenskab, Arts