Migration and Elderly Care: An Ethics of Care-Informed Study of Media Representations

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 14:30
Oral Presentation
Sandra TORRES, Uppsala University, Dept. of Sociology, Sweden
Jonas LINDBLOM, Malardalen University, Sweden
International migration and population aging have brought renewed attention to the scholarly debate on the ethics of care. The ways in which care impacts our societies, what it means to democratic states and how care responsibilities can be divided so that all citizens are able to both, provide the care they need to provide, and receive the care they are in need of, are all topics being discussed by sociologists, political scientists and caring scholars. Even though research has long established that media representations can influence people’s perceptions of phenomenon they lack first-hand experience on, little is known about the ways in which public debates around these issues are shaped. It is against this backdrop that we embarked on quantitative and qualitative content analyses of what the Swedish daily press reporting on these issues has written ever since the public debate on the intersection between migration, aging and care started in this country in 1995. The presentation will present some of the findings from the analyses we are in the midst of performing (300+ newspaper articles are being analyzed at this very moment); findings which show not only how under-valued caring activities actually are but also how many conflicting views about migrants’ role within the elderly care sector the media is reproducing. By showing that representations and debates about care are a theoretically profuse source of information about how societal values are shaped, this presentation aims to contribute to the recently re-ignited debate on the ethics of care that Tronto’s recently launched notion of ‘caring democracy’ has started .