Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Geography

Supervisor

Dr. Jeff Hopkins

Abstract

This research aimed to document the meanings and identities attached to the concept of ‘home’ among older women residing in long-term care. The study is based upon semi-structured, open-ended interviews with eleven senior women who reside in a long-term care home in The City of London, Ontario. This study contributes towards theoretical and methodological debates by combining critical humanism, feminism and the newly developing body of work called ‘emotional geographies’ in its approach. Along with the interview, the novel method of using the body as an ‘instrument of research’ is utilized (Longhurst, 2008). The methodology allows for ‘emotional spaces’ occupied by the participants to be revealed and documented. Findings problematize and provide nuance to previous studies about ‘home’. In particular, my findings demonstrate that spatialities, temporalities, boundaries, tension, and paradox need to be considered when theorizing, and more importantly, legislating ‘home’ into public policy. The landscape of the long-term care ‘home’ is identified to be located simultaneously and paradoxically ‘elsewhere’ – it is displaces from the ‘concrete’ wall of the long-term care institution – while being closely tied to the concept of a changing and fluid body and boundary zones that the body questions. The findings contribute to social theory about the experience of place, while having practical implications for policymakers, managers of long-term care facilities and senior citizens.


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