Married Care as Living Means in an Elderly Family

Еlutina М.E.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Head of the Chair of Social Work Sociology, Saratov National Research State University named after N.G. Chernyshevsky, Saratov, Russia.

Ivchenkov S.G.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Assoc. Prof., Dean of Faculty, Sociological Faculty, Saratov State University, Saratov, Russia.

Kolyazina L.V.

Postgraduate Student of the Chair of Social Work Sociology, Saratov National Research State University named after N.G. Chernyshevsky, Saratov, Russia.

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250004955-3
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Еlutina М.E., Ivchenkov S.G., Kolyazina L.V. Married Care as Living Means in an Elderly Family. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 5. P. 55-64


The concept of care is used at various levels of conceptualization. The article aims at analyzing the elderly married care measurement from the point of view of married care sense content by elderly people themselves: the way they define married care; the conditions of sharing help and support duties; the strategies used for their realization. The empirical research base, made from October, 2017 to April, 2018, is presented by 32 in-depth interviews with elderly married couples. Married care is identified as responsibility function for preserving or/and expanding elderly married couple’s resources. The empirical research results demonstrated that the above-mentioned function is realized regularly and permanently according to the principle of mutual dependence and correlation of one’s life with the life of the other. It represents itself in the life conduct shared by a married couple: their actions choice; their refusals; their reactions to various states of affairs under collisions with various situations. The range of careful married couple’s relations may vary between caring for a married partner and increasing worries about personal problems, the latter taking place when married couples are not able to fulfill caring actions in previous volume («bottle neck» effect). The elderly married couple context makes it possible to speak about a definite care economy – «taking care of yourself, you preserve the other’s resources». The interviews analysis revealed the presence of peculiar modality of married care practices; refusal from unified actions in favor of affective emotional peculiarities consideration.

elderly family; married care; care equation; care logic; married care reference; bottleneck effect; endless loss funnel


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Content No 5, 2019