The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Dinner with Wilma: on the relation between (inter)subjectivity, memory and emotion management in migrant-in-the-family interactions

Dinner with Wilma: on the relation between (inter)subjectivity, memory and emotion management in migrant-in-the-family interactions
Dinner with Wilma: on the relation between (inter)subjectivity, memory and emotion management in migrant-in-the-family interactions
This thesis reports on the findings of a heuristic study on participants’ communicative means of co-constructing (inter)subjective remembering in interactions with an Alzheimer’s patient. The case study presented in this thesis reflects a typical German ‘migrant-in-the-family’ home care arrangement, consisting of a number of family carers and nursing service employees alongside the frail elderly and a migrant live-in. Oral data were collected through ethnographic fieldwork. Over a period of six months, for approximately four days a week, three hours a day, interactions were audio recorded that involve one Alzheimer’s patient (‘Wilma’), three Polish live-ins, three of Wilma’s five children, and seven employees of the local nursing service. In the existing literature on the ‘migrant- in-the-family’ model, the scholarly focus in sociology is on the devaluation of domestic work. In particular, Arlie Hochschild’s framework for the analysis of ‘emotion management’ is used to outline the strategies individuals use to create ‘appropriate’ feeling displays, as well as the emotional costs of doing so. Categorising feeling displays either as surface acting (feigning emotion) or deep acting (authentic emotion), this approach treats ‘emotion management’ as a subjective and cognitive process. Taking on board an interactional perspective, this thesis approaches ‘emotion management’ as situated and distributed social practice and not only as cognitive achievement. In the spirit of Sacks’s ‘any-direction’ approach to analysis, this thesis’s data analysis draws on research in cognitive and social psychology, as well as neuroscience to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning-making processes. The general framework for analysis are Sacks’s lectures on story-telling in conversations. Findings show that participants’ schema-consistent actions can achieve affective coherence regarding the individual’s goals. However, this can, as a side effect, provoke a relationship mismatch. Consequently, it is argued that schema-related feeling displays of internal emotion management simultaneously affect negotiations of positions within the relationship. This way, participants’ conflicting frames concerning the home care situation potentially explain dysfunctional communication in terms of overall aims and the setup of Wilma’s care. Yet, my analysis shows that frames and schemata are subject to an on-going adaptive learning process as emotion management is distributed within the participation framework.
Engfer, Hilke
41854533-6118-4b42-b606-fe189361c33c
Engfer, Hilke
41854533-6118-4b42-b606-fe189361c33c
Meinhof, Ulrike
56befd2f-b46a-4f5a-9738-24920308a376
Armbruster, Heidemarie
44560127-8f08-4969-8b47-e19f21f23c37
Cowley, Stephen
b5c090b2-c675-438c-bed0-45e593185881

Engfer, Hilke (2011) Dinner with Wilma: on the relation between (inter)subjectivity, memory and emotion management in migrant-in-the-family interactions. University of Southampton, School of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 238pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis reports on the findings of a heuristic study on participants’ communicative means of co-constructing (inter)subjective remembering in interactions with an Alzheimer’s patient. The case study presented in this thesis reflects a typical German ‘migrant-in-the-family’ home care arrangement, consisting of a number of family carers and nursing service employees alongside the frail elderly and a migrant live-in. Oral data were collected through ethnographic fieldwork. Over a period of six months, for approximately four days a week, three hours a day, interactions were audio recorded that involve one Alzheimer’s patient (‘Wilma’), three Polish live-ins, three of Wilma’s five children, and seven employees of the local nursing service. In the existing literature on the ‘migrant- in-the-family’ model, the scholarly focus in sociology is on the devaluation of domestic work. In particular, Arlie Hochschild’s framework for the analysis of ‘emotion management’ is used to outline the strategies individuals use to create ‘appropriate’ feeling displays, as well as the emotional costs of doing so. Categorising feeling displays either as surface acting (feigning emotion) or deep acting (authentic emotion), this approach treats ‘emotion management’ as a subjective and cognitive process. Taking on board an interactional perspective, this thesis approaches ‘emotion management’ as situated and distributed social practice and not only as cognitive achievement. In the spirit of Sacks’s ‘any-direction’ approach to analysis, this thesis’s data analysis draws on research in cognitive and social psychology, as well as neuroscience to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning-making processes. The general framework for analysis are Sacks’s lectures on story-telling in conversations. Findings show that participants’ schema-consistent actions can achieve affective coherence regarding the individual’s goals. However, this can, as a side effect, provoke a relationship mismatch. Consequently, it is argued that schema-related feeling displays of internal emotion management simultaneously affect negotiations of positions within the relationship. This way, participants’ conflicting frames concerning the home care situation potentially explain dysfunctional communication in terms of overall aims and the setup of Wilma’s care. Yet, my analysis shows that frames and schemata are subject to an on-going adaptive learning process as emotion management is distributed within the participation framework.

PDF
engfer_thesis.pdf - Other
Download (2MB)

More information

Published date: December 2011
Organisations: University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367352
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367352
PURE UUID: 25d1508b-c057-4d39-a551-e76ceb0479cb

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Oct 2014 11:53
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:00

Export record

Contributors

Author: Hilke Engfer
Thesis advisor: Ulrike Meinhof
Thesis advisor: Heidemarie Armbruster
Thesis advisor: Stephen Cowley

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×