The Age.Vol.A. project aims to develop technological tools to help non Italian-speaking in-home carers to communicate with the families of the assisted elderly and receive useful information to fulfil their duties in the area of Varese and its province. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an update on the current status of the research (Vicentini et al. 2018a, Vicentini et al. 2018b). The research method is both qualitative and quantitative. The general approach is strongly influenced by ethnomethodology (Garfinkel 2002) which, along with its focus on communicative and relational aspects, is a useful tool for qualitative investigation of home care involving many social actors: elderly people, families, and foreign carers. The social and individual representation of domestic care is therefore interpreted in the terms of the speaker, whose subjectivity is structured by a dense relational context. The importance of the relationships among the different social actors is also stressed in relational sociology (Donati 2011), whereby the social identity of the actors investigated is built not only on self-perception, but also on the relationships with those who are not involved. The methodology of this qualitative research is therefore based on the study of narratives (life stories, interviews, short written texts) in which the subjectivity of the experience is both structured and mediated by the subject’s relational context (Demetrio / Favaro 2002). Questionnaires are normally used not to elicit actual language data but “to collect data on attitudes about language or qualitative sociolinguistic information” (Schleef / Meyerhoff 2010: 4). The approach of the sociolinguistic section of the questionnaire thus draws upon social constructivist tradition, which highlights the importance of language in understanding society and social categories, hence promoting the study of language attitudes, beliefs, and reactions about the use of language (Coupland / Jarowski 1997: 70-72), which are related to the theme of identity (Fairclough 1995, Irwin 2010: 100). The questionnaire design is cross-sectional as it offers “an overview of how a particular variable is distributed across the sample at a particular moment in time” (Rasinger 2008: 36). After mapping the context of the social actors involved through previous studies on the subjects and by involving local institutions and voluntary associations, we conducted preliminary interviews with foreign communities, volunteers, doctors and social workers in Varese to study their experiences and needs in relation to domestic care. The questionnaire also includes some questions about the self-perception of the social actors involved and their relationships in the complex interaction of home care. The majority of the questions of the survey are designed to analyse the same aspects from the viewpoint of the social actors involved in the phenomenon under study. All questionnaires end with an open-ended question in which people are invited to tell their experiences in their own words. The survey will be administered using an online survey tool and in a paper-based format. In the case of foreign in-home carers and families, in particular, the methodology of sociocultural section is inspired by questionnaires set up by the Institute for Educational and Training Research (Maioni / Zucca 2016) and by the Institute for Social Research (Pasquinelli 2015), which analyse the socio-economic impact of caregiving jobs. References Coupland, Nikolas / Jaworski, Adam 1997. Methods for Studying Language in Society. In Coupland, Nikolas / Jaworski, Adam (eds) Sociolinguistics: a Reader and Coursebook. New York (NY): Palgrave. Demetrio, Duccio / Favaro, Graziella 2002. Didattica interculturale. Nuovi sguardi competenze, percorsi. Milano: Franco Angeli. Donati, Pierpaolo 2011. Relational Sociology. A New Paradigm for the Social Sciences. London and New York: Routledge. Fairclough, Norman 1995. Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language. London: Longman. Garfinkel, Harold 2002. Ethnomethodology's program: Working out Durkheim's aphorism. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD. Irwin, Anthea 2010. Social Constructionism. In Wodak, Ruth / Johnstone, Barbara / Kerswill, Peter (eds) The Sage Handbook of Sociolinguistics. London: Sage. Rasinger, Sebastian 2008. Quantitative Research in Linguistics: An Introduction. London & New York: Continuum. Maioni, Raffaella / Zucca, Gianfranco (eds) 2016. Viaggio nel lavoro di cura. Chi sono, cosa fanno e come vivono le badanti che lavorano nelle famiglie italiane. Roma: Ediesse. Pasquinelli, Sergio (ed) 2015. Primo rapporto sul lavoro di cura in Lombardia. Gli anziani non autosufficienti. Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna: Maggioli editore. Schleef, Erik / Meyerhoff, Miriam 2010. Sociolinguistic methods for data collection and interpretation. In Schleef, Erik / Meyerhoff, Miriam (eds) The Routledge Sociolinguistics Reader. London & New York: Routledge. Vicentini, Alessandra / Grego, Kim / Russo, Daniel 2018a. “Age.Vol.A. – Ageing, Volunteers, Assistants. Multilingual Tools for Assisting the Ageing”, poster presented at the conference Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET), University of Birmingham, Birmingham 26/06/2018. Vicentini, Alessandra / Grego, Kim / Russo, Daniel 2018b. “Age.Vol.A. – Ageing, Volunteers, Assistants. Multilingual Tools for Assisting the Ageing”, presentation at the conference Knowledge Dissemination, Ethics and Ideology in Specialised Communication: Linguistic and Discursive Perspectives (CLAVIER), IULM University, Milan 01/12/2018.

Age.Vol.A. project: designing a survey for care workers, the elderly and their families / D. Russo, M. Luraschi, A. Vicentini, K.S. Grego, F. Pasquarè Mariotto, G. Rovelli. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Seniors, Foreign Caregivers, Families, Institutions: Linguistic and Multidisciplinary Perspectives tenutosi a Varese nel 2019.

Age.Vol.A. project: designing a survey for care workers, the elderly and their families

K.S. Grego;
2019-04-09

Abstract

The Age.Vol.A. project aims to develop technological tools to help non Italian-speaking in-home carers to communicate with the families of the assisted elderly and receive useful information to fulfil their duties in the area of Varese and its province. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an update on the current status of the research (Vicentini et al. 2018a, Vicentini et al. 2018b). The research method is both qualitative and quantitative. The general approach is strongly influenced by ethnomethodology (Garfinkel 2002) which, along with its focus on communicative and relational aspects, is a useful tool for qualitative investigation of home care involving many social actors: elderly people, families, and foreign carers. The social and individual representation of domestic care is therefore interpreted in the terms of the speaker, whose subjectivity is structured by a dense relational context. The importance of the relationships among the different social actors is also stressed in relational sociology (Donati 2011), whereby the social identity of the actors investigated is built not only on self-perception, but also on the relationships with those who are not involved. The methodology of this qualitative research is therefore based on the study of narratives (life stories, interviews, short written texts) in which the subjectivity of the experience is both structured and mediated by the subject’s relational context (Demetrio / Favaro 2002). Questionnaires are normally used not to elicit actual language data but “to collect data on attitudes about language or qualitative sociolinguistic information” (Schleef / Meyerhoff 2010: 4). The approach of the sociolinguistic section of the questionnaire thus draws upon social constructivist tradition, which highlights the importance of language in understanding society and social categories, hence promoting the study of language attitudes, beliefs, and reactions about the use of language (Coupland / Jarowski 1997: 70-72), which are related to the theme of identity (Fairclough 1995, Irwin 2010: 100). The questionnaire design is cross-sectional as it offers “an overview of how a particular variable is distributed across the sample at a particular moment in time” (Rasinger 2008: 36). After mapping the context of the social actors involved through previous studies on the subjects and by involving local institutions and voluntary associations, we conducted preliminary interviews with foreign communities, volunteers, doctors and social workers in Varese to study their experiences and needs in relation to domestic care. The questionnaire also includes some questions about the self-perception of the social actors involved and their relationships in the complex interaction of home care. The majority of the questions of the survey are designed to analyse the same aspects from the viewpoint of the social actors involved in the phenomenon under study. All questionnaires end with an open-ended question in which people are invited to tell their experiences in their own words. The survey will be administered using an online survey tool and in a paper-based format. In the case of foreign in-home carers and families, in particular, the methodology of sociocultural section is inspired by questionnaires set up by the Institute for Educational and Training Research (Maioni / Zucca 2016) and by the Institute for Social Research (Pasquinelli 2015), which analyse the socio-economic impact of caregiving jobs. References Coupland, Nikolas / Jaworski, Adam 1997. Methods for Studying Language in Society. In Coupland, Nikolas / Jaworski, Adam (eds) Sociolinguistics: a Reader and Coursebook. New York (NY): Palgrave. Demetrio, Duccio / Favaro, Graziella 2002. Didattica interculturale. Nuovi sguardi competenze, percorsi. Milano: Franco Angeli. Donati, Pierpaolo 2011. Relational Sociology. A New Paradigm for the Social Sciences. London and New York: Routledge. Fairclough, Norman 1995. Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language. London: Longman. Garfinkel, Harold 2002. Ethnomethodology's program: Working out Durkheim's aphorism. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD. Irwin, Anthea 2010. Social Constructionism. In Wodak, Ruth / Johnstone, Barbara / Kerswill, Peter (eds) The Sage Handbook of Sociolinguistics. London: Sage. Rasinger, Sebastian 2008. Quantitative Research in Linguistics: An Introduction. London & New York: Continuum. Maioni, Raffaella / Zucca, Gianfranco (eds) 2016. Viaggio nel lavoro di cura. Chi sono, cosa fanno e come vivono le badanti che lavorano nelle famiglie italiane. Roma: Ediesse. Pasquinelli, Sergio (ed) 2015. Primo rapporto sul lavoro di cura in Lombardia. Gli anziani non autosufficienti. Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna: Maggioli editore. Schleef, Erik / Meyerhoff, Miriam 2010. Sociolinguistic methods for data collection and interpretation. In Schleef, Erik / Meyerhoff, Miriam (eds) The Routledge Sociolinguistics Reader. London & New York: Routledge. Vicentini, Alessandra / Grego, Kim / Russo, Daniel 2018a. “Age.Vol.A. – Ageing, Volunteers, Assistants. Multilingual Tools for Assisting the Ageing”, poster presented at the conference Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET), University of Birmingham, Birmingham 26/06/2018. Vicentini, Alessandra / Grego, Kim / Russo, Daniel 2018b. “Age.Vol.A. – Ageing, Volunteers, Assistants. Multilingual Tools for Assisting the Ageing”, presentation at the conference Knowledge Dissemination, Ethics and Ideology in Specialised Communication: Linguistic and Discursive Perspectives (CLAVIER), IULM University, Milan 01/12/2018.
elderly; caregivers; families; sociocultural survey; sociolinguistic survey; relational sociology; home assistance
Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese
Fondazione CARIPLO
Age.Vol.A. project: designing a survey for care workers, the elderly and their families / D. Russo, M. Luraschi, A. Vicentini, K.S. Grego, F. Pasquarè Mariotto, G. Rovelli. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Seniors, Foreign Caregivers, Families, Institutions: Linguistic and Multidisciplinary Perspectives tenutosi a Varese nel 2019.
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