(Re)-regulating care : employing foreign carers for older persons in Taiwan

Chen, Yu-Hsien (2013) (Re)-regulating care : employing foreign carers for older persons in Taiwan. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The purpose of this research was to develop a theoretical understanding of the social phenomenon of the employment of foreign carers for older Taiwanese in households.

Foreign carers were introduced into Taiwan in 1992 to address the care needs of the older population. By 2012, over 200,000 foreign caregivers from Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam were providing care in households in Taiwan. There has been little research on the interactions between and experiences of family employers, foreign carers and older persons receiving care. The theoretical framework brought together symbolic interactionist concepts and the social constructionism of Berger and Luckmann. Data collection and analysis were informed by Charmaz‘s formulation of grounded theory. Two focus groups and 54 in-depth interviews with a total of 57 Indonesian and Vietnamese foreign carers, Taiwanese family employers and older persons receiving care were undertaken. The analytical findings of the research reflect the ways in which the foreign carer, older persons receiving care and family employer participants were socially situated within the research context and how their respective social realities were shaped differently by changing social structures and cultural values within a globalising context. (Re)-regulating care was generated as the core category, forming a coherent and overarching framework that integrated the three analytical dimensions of the reality of the social change, resituating roles and struggling for control. The reality of social change refers to the employment of foreign carers as a manifestation of the reshaping of the social worlds of the three groups of participants. Resituating roles reflects the processes that underpin the hierarchical positioning of participants, the resultant asymmetrical power relations and associated interactions. Struggling for control, depicts how each group employed strategies to create space and identities that would sustain a sense of self and autonomy. In the current situation of economic and social change in Taiwan the three participant groups shared a desire for control. The autonomy of the women employers was negotiated through employment of foreign carers; for the foreign carers, a pragmatic decision to work abroad became a means for personal empowerment; and the older persons receiving care regained some authority through relationships with carers.

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ID Code: 61134
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Windsor, Carol & Theobald, Karen A.
Keywords: aged care, family carer, family caregiver, foreign carer, foreign caregiver, grounded theory, social constructionism, symbolic interactionism, Taiwan
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 05 Jul 2013 01:46
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2015 03:04

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