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Aging in Twentieth-Century Britain$
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Charlotte Greenhalgh

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520298781

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520298781.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Into the Institution

Into the Institution

Residential Care for the Aged

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter Three Into the Institution
Source:
Aging in Twentieth-Century Britain
Author(s):

Charlotte Greenhalgh

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520298781.003.0004

In 1958–1959 Peter Townsend interviewed almost 500 residents of old age homes for his project The Last Refuge. Townsend investigated what had changed since the Labour Government introduced new legislation for residential care in 1948. Old age homes had become symbolic of continuous state support from cradle to grave. Yet the delivery of residential care was uneven, and it divided the aged by social class and health. Meanwhile researchers, workers, and elderly people often disagreed about the ethics of aged care. Townsend drove change within these institutions. During interviews, for example, researchers and residents enacted the ideal of respect for the inner lives of the old, even if midcentury research methods sometimes recreated the disempowering conditions of institutional life.

Keywords:   old age, aging, ageing, residential care, aged care, old age institutions, Peter Townsend, social research, interviews, welfare state

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