Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The New American ServitudePolitical Belonging among African Immigrant Home Care Workers$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Caiti Coe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479831012

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479831012.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2020



Intangible Gifts at the End of Life

(p.194) Interlude
The New American Servitude

Cati Coe

NYU Press

This coda explores the role of home care workers in helping patients and their kin establish rituals and meaning at the end of life. Kin often find themselves having difficulty creating the proper ritual space or sense of union and communion with the dead and with each other. They do not have a cultural script of what to do, which leads to greater grief. This lack of ritual around home deaths speaks to the cultural desire to avoid death as long as possible, the expertise of medical authorities in structuring the dying process in hospitals, and the fact that aging in general is somewhat unstructured, with relatively few rituals in comparison to the transitions of childhood and youth. Given the lack of structure in home deaths, kin are amenable to guidance about new kinds of social actions from others, including from home care workers, who become experts in dying. Such moments draw patients’ kin and home care workers closer together.

Keywords:   death, good death, ritual, home death, expertise, home care, aging

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.