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Negotiating spaces in home environments: Older women living with arthritis

Social Science & Medicine

Author: Moss, M.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1997


Within medical geography there has been a surge of interest in applying critical concepts in social theory to empirical settings, including those for persons with disabilities. The ways through which persons with disabilities negotiate space vary widely according to material and social experiences of being disabled. For older women, chronic illness as a type of disability shapes the way in which they approach their daily lives with respect to both the physical and social aspects of their home environments. In the first half of the paper, conceptually, I take a relational view of space and argue that household, as a narrow reading of domestic space, needs to be replaced by home environment which incorporates more fully age- and ablement-sensitive readings of the spaces constitutive of domestic space. This lays the basis for a contextualized socio-spatial understanding of the ways older women with chronic illness negotiate the spaces in home environments because it accounts for the disadvantaged positionings of access to power and resources as well as the uneven distributions of income based on gender, age, and (dis)ability. It also takes into account the material and social aspects of being disabled. In the second half of the paper, I present case studies of three older women diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis to illustrate these arguments.

Further Details

Full Title: Social Science & Medicine
Pages: 23-33
Volume: 45
Issue: 1
Accession Number: December, 2010
Research Notes: Electronic copy added 17/07/2013
Keywords: womenHomel agingChronic illnessDisabilitySocial environment
Reads: 207