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Petit Bourgeois Care: Private residential care for the elderly

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This paper seeks to explain the oscillation in government policy towards the private sector of residential care of the elderly. It draws on empirical material from a survey of private homes in Devon and employs theoretical concepts from work on small businesses and the petit bourgeoisie. The paper explores the ideological use of such concepts as 'family' and the 'self-made man', and points to inherent ambiguities in applying those concepts to the sphere of private residential care as it is currently practised. Within the rhetoric of the political right, proprietors of private homes can be labelled both as paragons of virtue and as moral degenerates, which underlies an inability of government to maintain a coherent policy towards this sector of care.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1986

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