migration; doing death; end-of-life; nursing homes; community; ethnographic research; exchange theory; doing diversity
Salis Gross Corina (2016), Chancengleiche Palliative Care im Migrationskontext?
, Suchtmagazin, Themennummer 'Sterben und Tod', Bern.
Hunter Alistair, Soom Ammann Eva (2016), End-of-life care and rituals in contexts of post-migration diversity in Europe: an introduction., in JICS, Special Issue "Intercultural negotiations around dying and death in Europe"
, 37(2), 95-102.
van Holten Karin, Soom Ammann Eva (2016), Negotiating the potato: the challenge of dealing with multiple diversities in elder care, in Schweppe Cornelia (ed.), Routledge, New York, 200-216.
Soom Ammann Eva, Salis Gross Corina, Rauber Gabriela (2016), The art of enduring contradictory goals: challenges in the institutional co-construction of a 'good death'., in Journal of Intercultural Studies
, 37(2), 118-132.
Salis Gross Corina, Soom Ammann Eva, Sariaslan Emine, Schneeberger Geisler Susanne (2015), Migrationssensitive Palliative Care – Bedarf und Bedürfnisse der Migrationsbevölkerung in der Schweiz
, palliativ.ch, Bern.
Salis Gross Corina, Soom Ammann Eva, Sariaslan Emine, Schneeberger Geisler Susanne (2014), Chancengleiche Palliative Care. Bedarf und Bedürfnisse der Migrationsbevölkerung in der Schweiz.
, AVM Verlag, München.
The research project is focusing on the end-of-life in old age nursing homes and intends to explore the constitution of ‘doing death’ in Swiss nursing homes when the elderly involved are of migrant background. The focus is laid on the co-construction of end-of -life and dying in interactions between residents of migrant background and professional carers involved (often of migrant background themselves), and will thereby analyse processes of ‘doing diversity’ in ‘doing death’. The sequences of these processes, the respective dimensions of dying trajectories and the conflicts arising are made visible within the specific context of migration. The proposed research chooses as a central approach the observation of everyday practices of ‘doing death’ and ‘death work’ by analysing interactions and by embedding them on one hand within the structural contexts of the organization and the relevant subsystems of society, and on the other hand within the contexts of biographical experiences and individual resources of the involved actors. The project chooses an open research strategy that will follow the principles of grounded theory and ethnographic research. The field of research will be entered by studying a group specific department for residents of so-called ‘mediterranean’ background and its ways of community-building. It will be contrasted by research in a department stressing community without defining specific criteria for the integration of residents (a so-called ‘Hausgemeinschaft’) and a department stressing the individuality of each resident, but holding a considerable number of residents with migrant background. There will be varied research methods applied (e.g., participant observation, focused and biographical interviewing, situational analysis).The proposed research project is focusing on migrant elderly end-of-life in nursing homes because we suppose that the specific forms of ‘doing diversity’ by ‘doing community’ within segregative departments may also lead to specific forms of ‘doing death’, which aim at a stronger embeddedness of dying trajectories in social relations of reciprocity and exchange. The study will analyse whether the investment in relationships of social and symbolic exchange and the respective (at least implicit) expectations of the organisation as well as of the residents and their family members will accordingly lead to more visible performances of reciprocity. Reduced feelings of guilt and shame for all the protagonists (staff, residents, family members) are therefore expected to show up as an important outcome of the segregative strategy of the organisation. Furthermore, migrant ‘doing death’ is expected to be particularly negotiable since the potential diversity of symbolic reference systems and daily practice is widened. If the respective resident is limited in his/her capacities to play an active part in negotiating about ‘good dying’ - either due to language competences, which would be migrant specific, or due to degenerative diseases, which are not migrant specific - leaves the field of negotiations up to the professionals within the organization. Strategies of stereotyping the ‘other’ as well as driving nurses, caring aides and other professionals of migrant background into roles of ‘cultural experts’ or ‘transcultural translators’ are expected to be common in such situations. However, the task of negotiating what would be a ‘good dying’ and what measures are appropriate is always at stake in contemporary heterogeneous societies. Therefore we would argue that studying dying processes involving migrant residents is looking at paradigmatic manifestations of doing death in recent contexts of reflexive modernity.