To Örebro University

oru.seÖrebro University Publications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Family's Roles as a Welfare Pillar: The Case of Older Persons Living in Extreme Poverty in Bangladesh
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6601-6222
Department of Social & Policy Sciences, University of Bath, Bath, UK.
2023 (English)In: Development Policy Review, ISSN 0950-6764, E-ISSN 1467-7679, Vol. 41, no 2, article id e12679Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Motivation: Many mainstream welfare theories developed by social scientists and applied by economists and policymakers underestimate families’ roles in providing welfare to citizens. This is surprising given that the family constitutes one of the main welfare pillars across typologies of the welfare state.

Purpose: This article seeks to explore the role of the family as a welfare pillar with an ageing perspective. We aimed to test whether the family serves as a space for negotiations to improve wellbeing and achieve security in the absence of effective formal mechanisms.

Methods and approach: Applying the framework of “informal security regimes” (Wood, 2004), this article draws on 37 life history interviews collected from older persons living in extreme poverty in Bangladesh. Recurring themes are identified and analysed to explore the relationship between family and wellbeing/security.

Findings: We find that family relationships are often central in the pursuit of security. This shows how welfare delivery in low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs), in this case Bangladesh, is deeply rooted in reciprocal family systems where all members actively fulfil moral and material expectations. Pursuing this collective goal can take different forms relative to each member's physical and mental capacity, position, gender, and age. Building on the empirical evidence, we propose the concept of “relational security” as a crucial marker and shaper of wellbeing.

Policy implications: To be effective, welfare policies need to better consider how the conception and experiences of wellbeing and security, especially for the older persons living in extreme poverty, are deeply embedded within the complex functioning of the relationships that can shape welfare outcomes in different directions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing, 2023. Vol. 41, no 2, article id e12679
Keywords [en]
Ageing, Bangladesh, extreme poverty, family, social policy, welfare regimes
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-102378DOI: 10.1111/dpr.12679ISI: 000913372700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85146463335OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-102378DiVA, id: diva2:1713212
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 754285Available from: 2022-11-24 Created: 2022-11-24 Last updated: 2023-06-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Living Longer, Living Harder: Ageing in Extreme Poverty in Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Living Longer, Living Harder: Ageing in Extreme Poverty in Bangladesh
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this dissertation is to understand the lived experience of age-ing in extreme poverty in developing countries, in this case Bangladesh, a country that hosts a large number of extreme poor and ageing population. By focusing on the role of the family, the most neglected pillar of welfare, this dissertation sheds new light on the microprocesses of welfare politics. By doing so, it unravels the complexity and precariousness that characterises the lived experiences of the older persons, and the relational embeddedness of ageing in extreme poverty, which often makes bargaining, under conditions of scarce resources, an essential process.

This dissertation seeks to make contribution at the empirical, theoretical, and methodological levels. Empirically, it explores processes of generational transfer of disadvantages that create the conditions leading to the experience of extreme poor late life. Theoretically it helps us reconceptualise extreme poverty as ‘agency poverty’ associated with ageing. By adopting a life course approach, the dissertation advances our understanding of ageing and extreme poverty being inspired by postmodern and postcolonial in-sights, thus highlighting the importance of othering and agency erosion mechanisms. The dissertation also formulates the concept of ‘relational security’, arguing that the older persons’ search for wellbeing and security primarily revolves around their relations. The level of ‘relational security’ is therefore a crucial marker of wellbeing and security during the late life. Lastly, methodologically, and relying on an activist approach, the dissertation challenges some of the conventional ways of doing research. It emphasises the need both to duly recognise the power and agency of the vulnerable research participants and to facilitate a space to exercise their power and agency. It also advocates for researchers to be more mindful about their accountability to the research participants.

The dissertation discusses the policy implications of the findings and highlights that poverty policies and interventions should be concerned about ‘agency poverty’ and add provisions that contribute towards restoring older persons’ agency by, for example, empowering them politically. Policymakers also need to be aware that individuals’ different levels of relational embeddedness play a critical role in deter-mining the outcome of policy interventions tackling extreme poverty in old age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2022. p. 86
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 45
Keywords
Ageing, Agency, Extreme Poverty, Generational Bargain, Life History Interviews, Othering, Postcolonial, Qualitative, Social Policy, Welfare Regimes
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-102119 (URN)9789175294780 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-12-19, Örebro universitet, Forumhuset, Hörsal F, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-11-08 Created: 2022-11-08 Last updated: 2022-12-15Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Authority records

Akram, Owasim

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Akram, Owasim
By organisation
School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
In the same journal
Development Policy Review
Political Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 123 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf