Alexa Carson is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Toronto (Canada), and a Research Assistant at the Centre for Global Social Policy. Her dissertation research explores care for Latin American and Caribbean seniors in Toronto, from the dyadic perspectives of seniors and family caregivers. For this project, she is conducting in-depth interviews in Spanish and English, examining how immigrant seniors and their families arrange and make-sense of senior care. There is social policy component to this investigation, with attention to service gaps and recommendations for how government and community organizations can better support seniors and their unpaid caregivers.
What made you interested in the study of aging and/or the life course?
I am fascinated by how past experiences impact people’s current understandings of their lives. Life course perspectives help me to frame and conceptualize my thinking on these multi-temporal influences. Research on aging is important to me personally, as my own parents are aging, and I view it as increasingly meaningful and relevant in the context of aging societal demographics, which helps to keep me engaged in and motivated by my work.
What is an article, book, or other work that has made an impact on how you think about aging and your research?
Of course, it is so difficult to pick just one! As my research is currently centered around family care for immigrant seniors, I often draw from the work of Carolyn Mendez-Luck and her collaborators, who suggest a reconceptualization of the role that kin scripts and familism play in family elder care negotiations among Mexican-origin Americans. One example of this is:
Mendez-Luck, C. A., Applewhite, S. R., Lara, V. E., & Toyokawa, N. (2016). The Concept of Familism in the Lived Experiences of Mexican-Origin Caregivers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(3), 813–829. https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12300
What do you do when you are not doing aging/life course research?
On my down time I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as running, canoeing, camping, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding. I also have two young children who keep me pretty busy!
Do you have a recent publication so that our members can learn more about your work?
Carson, A. (2022). A Pressure Release Valve: South Korean Long-Term Care Policy as Supplemental to Family Elder Care. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/08959420.2022.2133318