Discourse in ‘later life care’: disability within regulated and changeable political economic structures

Authors: Nari Kim*, University of Delaware
Topics: Disabilities, Geography and Urban Health, Geographic Theory
Keywords: Care, Responsibility for the body, Political economic structure, Homo sacer, Parkinson disease
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Maryland A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Getting age increases one’s dependence on others because sometimes aging makes people experience difficulties in sustaining responsibilities for own body. The struggling results from not only natural aging processes but also diverse diseases. Especially, responsibilities toward ill old men’s body should be considered in critical ways because modern democratic societies govern citizen and their places with externally well-organized documentations but aging and illnesses make the elderly experience decreasing cognitive abilities and incompetent decision-making performances. So, the elderly who have chronic illnesses have possibilities to become vulnerable subjects in maintaining their rights, especially on their bodies. The elderly’s places and bodies slowly and indirectly are victimized by changeable political economic regulations without concerning about them. This paper, based on a concept of Homo Sacer, seeks to explore the elderly’s daily life, specifically people who have Parkinson Disease (PD). In the paper, Agamben’s Homo Sacer plays out as a framework to show how the old PD patients are becoming sacred men from their own body to the society because of care practices. The elderly who has PD works as a certain research subject for refuting today’s later life care practice because the patients inevitably experience disabilities which ask them to need care or support from society beyond self-care or care from family. In the end, research will establish the significance and role of care and give insights into aging society.

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