Linked Lives

For the purposes of considering aging and care work, scholars understand that people live “linked lives” (Lloyd-Sherlock and Locke 2008) and thus most people play on a team known as “family.” Families working to get by and get ahead in ...

Author: Michele Ruth Gamburd

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 9781978815322

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

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When youth shake off their rural roots and middle-aged people migrate for economic opportunities, what happens to the grandparents left at home? Linked Lives provides readers with intimate glimpses into homes in a Sri Lankan Buddhist village, where elders wisely use their moral authority and their control over valuable property to assure that they receive both physical and spiritual care when they need it. The care work that grandparents do for grandchildren allows labor migration and contributes to the overall well-being of the extended family. The book considers the efforts migrant workers make to build and buy houses and the ways those rooms and walls constrain social activities. It outlines the strategies elders employ to age in place, and the alternatives they face in local old folks’ homes. Based on ethnographic work done over a decade, Michele Gamburd shows how elders face the challenges of a rapidly globalizing world.

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