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How does stereotypical gender awareness manifest itself in the field of elder care?

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Discussion thread: Services for Elders
Danny Ho
29 July 2021
How does stereotypical gender awareness manifest itself in the field of elder care?

How does stereotypical gender awareness manifest itself in the field of elder care?

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Rachel Mok
28 July 2021

No problem.

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Danny Ho
28 July 2021

Thanks!

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Rachel Mok
28 July 2021

Changes are ongoing in the hegemonic forms of femininity and masculinity. However, there is also a reproduction of established gender identities especially in relation to institutional elderly care. Here we witness a highly gender-segregated division of labor, with elderly care a predominantly female occupation and only modest changes in men’s likelihood of working in elderly care. Despite political campaigns to actively recruit men, the number of men working in elderly care remains low. The push toward a de-gendering of care has been relatively weak in the elderly care sector, and there are still strongly gendered discourses toward the care workers. Male care professionals are often met with different expectations by managers and recipients than their female colleagues. Despite the official discourse of gender equality, both managers and recipients of care reproduce gendered expectations; for example, elderly women attribute different characteristics to, respectively, women and men, and male care professionals may be viewed with suspicion concerning their sexual orientation—they are assumed to be gay.

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