Towards a practical ethics of care in residential homes for the elderly

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract Despite good intentions, numerous change initiatives to counteract problems in residential care facilities have only shown limited effects so far. In this paper we argue that in order to improve the quality of care in residential homes in the long-run, the professional care logic – which currently dominates the field – needs to be complemented with a relational logic of care that emphasizes its “practical ethics”. A practical ethics can be understood as an ethics of care that is enacted through mundane, everyday relational practices. Emphasizing the informal character of care, it reframes conventional understandings of the care relationship and re-imagines the scope of what may be considered a care practice. More concretely, the paper identifies five informal care practices that were observed during an ethnographic field study at an elderly nursing home in Germany. By acknowledging that care – as relational practice – is multi-directional, involving many different actors of a care system, and not always a harmonious endeavor, this paper contributes to a reconceptualization of care practices which may entail material effects in terms of improving the quality of care in residential homes, and the well-being of all actors involved in the caring process.
Authors Molterer, Katharina; Hoyer, Patrizia & Steyaert, Chris
Language English
Subjects business studies
social sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Maerkte (KIM)
Date 6 July 2017
Event Title 33rd EGOS Colloquium
Event Location Copenhagen, Denmark
Event Dates 6-8 July 2017
Depositing User Dr. Katharina Molterer
Date Deposited 23 Aug 2017 12:39
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:31


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Molterer, Katharina; Hoyer, Patrizia & Steyaert, Chris: Towards a practical ethics of care in residential homes for the elderly. 2017. - 33rd EGOS Colloquium. - Copenhagen, Denmark.

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