Gender, caring and learning disability

Walmsley, Jan (1995). Gender, caring and learning disability. PhD thesis The Open University.



The thesis explores the meaning of caring in the lives of a group of people who are labelled as dependants, adults with learning difficulties. Through biographical interviews and documentary research the author examines how care for people with learning difficulties has developed over time in one local area; and the understandings people on the receiving end have of the care offered them by families and staff.

The findings suggest that dependency is not acknowledged by the majority of people interviewed who present themselves as givers of care as much as recipients of care. The research identifies gender as an important variable in the way care and caring are understood and experienced.

The research makes a contribution to the literatures on gender and caring; family; peer and staff relationships of adults with learning difficulties; the history of learning disability; and qualitative research with marginalised groups.

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