, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 411–426 | Cite as

Carer narratives of fatigue and endurance in Japan and England

  • Jason Danely
Original Article


Caring for an elderly person often requires constant attention, physically challenging tasks, and emotional strain, all of which accumulate over periods and manifest as fatigue. Despite the prevalence of descriptions of fatigue in carer narratives, and the massive clinical literature on ‘carer burden’ and ‘exhaustion’, the significance of fatigue as a component of care rather than a mere by-product has not been fully explored. Drawing on Levinas’ phenomenological theory of fatigue I argue that experiences of fatigue shape carer subjectivities as both vulnerable and enduring, qualities that are essential for inaugurating new ways of being towards and taking ethical responsibility for the cared-for. At the same time, fatigue can become tragic if not supported by social and cultural narratives that recognize it and give it value.


Aged care Fatigue Endurance Japan England 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK

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