By Loretta Baldassar
This is often an ethnographic account of the transnational caregiving reports and practices of Australian migrants and refugees, taking care of their aged mom and dad in Europe, the center East, Asia and New Zealand. It describes how humans reply to remarkable mobility (both voluntary and forced), globalized activity markets and an growing old inhabitants.
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Additional info for Families Caring Across Borders: Migration, Ageing and Transnational Caregiving
For ethical reasons, given the advanced age and relative health of many of the parents in the study, we decided to gain access to them through their children. In other words, before we could contact the parents, we had to have the permission of their (migrant) children. This has probably resulted in our sample being biased towards well-functioning transnational families. Even so, in considering how people negotiate the moral expectation from kin and communities to provide care across distance, we are able to offer some explanation for the different and changing degrees of caregiving we encountered both within and between sample groups.
In people's daily lives for an extended period of time, watching what happens, listening to what is said, asking questions - in fact, collecting whatever data are available to throw light on the issues that are the focus of the research. (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1995, p. 1) It is widely accepted that, ideally, ethnography requires ethnographers to immerse themselves in a single social context for an extended period of time, preferably a minimum of a year, to get a sense of the annual 17 18 Families Caring Across Borders cycle of social life.
Institutional care is more expensive and, depending on the region, less available and accessible and generally considered to be less attractive than domestic help. Known colloquially as having 'una donna in casa' (a woman in the house), this practice preserves the tradition of family care, even as it disrupts the families of the women employed to provide such care. At the same time, Italy has embarked on a progressive project to improve the provision of aged-care services in all sectors, including 40 Families Caring Across Borders institutional care as well as home care (Trifiletti, 1998, p.