Hildegard Theobald, University of Vechta
Hanne Marlene Dahl, Roskilde University
Elderly care is undergoing major, complex transformation with commodification of care, new discourses on active ageing/rehabilitation and new technologies as well as the increasing role of migrants. We want to investigate how these processes and changes affect – and interact with – the idea of professional carers, distinct professional projects and the role of the state. Active ageing might present a possibility for professionalizing/the professionalism of some groups, whereas marketization might pull in the opposite direction i.e. de-professionalizing elderly care. And what about new technologies? Simultaneously the theoretical terrain is changing with new understandings questioning the traditional view of professions and their characteristics by introducing the notion of professionalism (Fournier, 1999; Henriksson/Wrede/Burau, 2006; Evetts, 2011) and the role of various forms of knowledge in elderly care.
In this section we welcome papers on policy developments and their interaction with processes of professionalizing/professionalism and de-professionalizing in one country or in a cross-country comparison as well as more theoretically based papers concerned with elderly care/ the social imagination of the ‘fourth age’. The theme refers to professions/occupations groups that are exclusively geared towards the oldest old and professions/occupations groups that only deal with the oldest old as part of their work. The relevant fields are health- and social services provided in various spheres of society. We especially welcome papers investigating the role of the state in processes of professionalizing and de-professionalizing, state strategies and rationalities, the role of markets and of paid care work within the family context in creating an image of professionalism.