The institutionalized elderly : a silent subculture

Date

1986

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Abstract

The process of cultural transmission and the associated phenomenon of conversion is explored to gain insight into the problem of hopelessness, helplessness, and dependency as it is manifest among a sample of institutionalized elderly women. In-depth interviews of eight staff nurses and biographies of nineteen patients over a four month period revealed that a process of cultural transmission is operating throughout life and in the setting to convert patients to a new ideology about old age. Coping strategies are used by patients to gain and/or maintain control, but the ultimate outcome is partial to total conversion.

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Keywords

Older women--United States--Social conditions, Nursing homes--United States, Older women--Institutional care--United States

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