Tragic Visions, Maddening Worry : an investigation into the worldview and social position of caregivers

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Title: Tragic Visions, Maddening Worry : an investigation into the worldview and social position of caregivers
Author: Huber, Calle
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Sosiologia
Abstract: This master's thesis concerns the situation of caregivers with a family member diagnosed with one or more mental disorders or illnesses. Research material was gathered for the purpose of the thesis primarily through participant observation and secondarily through loosely structured interviews. The gathering of the research material took place in conjunction with a peer support group meeting for caregivers. The analysis conducted within the thesis is based on the work of the sociologist Lucien Goldmann and that of the scholar of literature Richard Halpern and could be characterized as an inquiry into the presuppositions determining the outlook of caregivers as a group within the wider context of society. In the course of this analysis the work of Michel Foucault is also discussed, with the position argued for in the thesis being partially compatible with his engagement with the subject of madness. The thesis also draws on examples taken from the study of literature and drama to develop its argument. While the thesis is concerned mainly with giving a broad picture of the quandaries faced by caregivers in contemporary society it takes as its point of departure the accounts given by the caregivers themselves, this called for an approach that was capable of teasing out the basic conditions determining or enabling the outlook or worldview of this group. As the thesis is mainly concerned with the more difficult, contradictory and fraught aspects of the situation caregivers find themselves in it was also necessary to perform an in-depth analysis of such concepts as those of tragedy, death and madness in order for me to be able to explore the aforementioned issues. The aim of the thesis is to offer an outline of certain difficulties faced by sociologists interested in the themes of madness, intelligibility, action and meaning. As such it constitutes more of an overview of the challenges faced by anyone interested in the subjects in question, it should not be read as offering any concrete conclusions.
Subject: caregivers
peer support

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