Negotiating Care Responsibilities for Older Parents: Intersection of Gender and Socioeconomic Status in the Case of Turkish Siblings
PhD. student, Sociology, Purdue University, U.S.A
The gendered nature of care work is a topic widely studied; however, there have not been many studies focusing on gendered caregiving dynamics among siblings in a non-Western context. In this paper, I utilize within-family data collected from adult siblings participating in their parents' care in Turkey to explore gendered practices in the dynamics of caregiving when parents are in need of assistance. Analyzing qualitative data collected from two siblings in 15 Turkish families, I identify themes explaining why some adult siblings assume caregiving responsibilities to older parents whereas their siblings do not. Gendered expectations and practices are found to play an essential role in reports of within-family differences in sibling relations during not only division but also negotiation of care responsibilities for older parents. Findings reveal that in Turkish culture, the pathways to caregiving are shaped by both the gender of the adult child and the gender composition of sibling groups in regard to gender norms around caregiving and family responsibilities. In addition, these pathways are observed to be affected by the socioeconomic status of the siblings. As a result of this qualitative study, it is noted that intersections of gender and socioeconomic status create great impact on both negotiation and division of parent care responsibilities among Turkish siblings.