Researching social care for minority ethnic older people: Implications of some Scottish research



Bowes A & Dar N (2000) Researching social care for minority ethnic older people: Implications of some Scottish research. British Journal of Social Work, 30 (3), pp. 305-321.

The paper explores issues raised by research on patterns of welfare and mutual care among older Pakistani people and their families, with particular reference to their use, or lack of use of social care services. Qualitative interviews were conducted with (self-defined) minority ethnic older people, professionals in statutory services and in minority-led community-based groups. The organization of services is discussed, with special reference to issues of power and control, the role of the voluntary (non-profit) and statutory sectors, the debate regarding the possible need for specialist versus generic services, and the role of minority-led initiatives. Secondly, issues of service staffing are examined, and the dangers of marginalizing minority services and staff reviewed, especially with reference to divisions of labour in service provision and staff's own perspectives. Thirdly, the methodological implications of the work are explores, including issues of linguistic and cultural communication and working with relatively powerless social groups, whose views are sought. Examining the views of professional social care workers is also problematized, with reference to their gate-keeping role. It is argued that user perspectives are essential to the development of appropriate services for minority ethnic groups. In conclusion, the need to raise these issues in other work is discussed.

British Journal of Social Work: Volume 30, Issue 3

Publication date30/06/2000
PublisherOxford University Press

People (1)


Professor Alison Bowes
Professor Alison Bowes

Professor, Dementia and Ageing