Menezes, Deborah: “They Cannot Boss Me Around”: Manifesting Agency in Care Homes in Goa, India, in Brosius, Christiane und Mandoki, Roberta (Hrsg.): Caring for Old Age: Perspectives from South Asia, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2020 (Heidelberg Studies on Transculturality, Band 8), S. 159–182. https://doi.org/10.17885/heiup.597.c8392

Identifier (Buch)

ISBN 978-3-947732-94-4 (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-3-947732-95-1 (Softcover)
ISBN 978-3-947732-93-7 (PDF)




Deborah Menezes

“They Cannot Boss Me Around”: Manifesting Agency in Care Homes in Goa, India

Abstract This chapter seeks to provide a deeper understanding of agen­cy among the residents of care homes in India, who are constrained by their limited access to institutional power and control. Based on ethno­graphic fieldwork in three care homes in Goa, India, including participant observation and interviews, this chapter discusses everyday forms of agency, as manifested by the residents within the frameworks of power prevalent in the homes. My discussion throughout is built on two pillars—agency as a manifestation of identity, and agency as a form of resistance. Accounts from the residents were explored through them. By adopting a viewpoint which neither unnecessarily romanticizes the struggles of the residents nor falls prey to arguments about residents as passive victims, I have uncovered and understood better the residents’ stories of preserv­ing their individual identity through their agency within the surrounding framework of power.

Keywords agency, qualitative methods, residents, India, care homes