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Linguistics Vanguard

A Multimodal Journal for the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Bergs, Alexander / Cohn, Abigail C. / Good, Jeff


CiteScore 2018: 0.95

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.381
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.841

Online
ISSN
2199-174X
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Embodied care: affective touch as a facilitating resource for interaction between caregivers and residents in a care home for older adults

Kaarina MononenORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7214-0446
Published Online: 2019-06-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0036

Abstract

This article analyses how caregivers use affective touch as a resource to facilitate interaction. Through touch, caregivers construct positive socio-emotional relationships with their residents. The analysis of micro-level interaction is based on an interactional sociolinguistic framework, and reveals how caregivers display affection and intimacy while assisting the residents in everyday situations in a care home. All of the examples involve touching a person’s shoulder, stroking or giving half-embraces, typical resources used to construct affiliation between caregivers and residents. This article illustrates how affective touch facilitates interaction by regulating participation and calming down residents, by mitigating the controlling aspect of caring, and by fostering a positive interpersonal relationship. The care situations presented in this article contain crucial pauses within talk that are used to construct a peaceful atmosphere. During these crucial moments, embodied action effectively indicates an orientation to listening and establishes a presence to accomplish the actions in that situational talk. This analysis contributes to the studies on embodied interaction and on interpersonal relationships in care for older adults.1

Keywords: language and aging; care home; interaction; touch; affective

References

About the article

Received: 2018-05-16

Accepted: 2018-12-13

Published Online: 2019-06-22


Funding: The work was funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund.


Citation Information: Linguistics Vanguard, Volume 5, Issue s2, 20180036, ISSN (Online) 2199-174X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0036.

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