Risky Business: How Older ‘At Risk’ People in Denmark Evaluated Their Situated Risk During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amy Clotworthy, Rudi GJ Westendorp



Full Text:



Alaszewski, Andy. 2015. “Anthropology and Risk: Insights into Uncertainty, Danger and Blame from Other Cultures – A Review Essay.” Health, Risk & Society 17(3–4): 205–225. https://doi.org/10.1080/13698575.2015.1070128.

Anderson, Sally. 2011. “The Obligation to Participate: Micro-Integrative Processes of Civil Sociality.” In The Question of Integration: Immigration, Exclusion and the Danish Welfare State. Edited by Karen Fog Olwig and Karsten Pærregaard, 230–255. Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Boholm, Åsa. 2003. “The Cultural Nature of Risk: Can There be an Anthropology of Uncertainty?” Ethnos 68(2): 159–178. https://doi.org/10.1080/0014184032000097722.

Charles, Cathy, Amiram Gafni, and Tim Whelan. 1999. “Decision-making in the Physician–Patient Encounter: Revisiting the Shared Treatment Decision-making Model.” Social Science & Medicine 49: 651–661. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(99)00145-8.

Christman, John. 2004. “Relational Autonomy, Liberal Individualism, and the Social Constitution of Selves.” Philosophical Studies: an International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition 117(1/2): 143–164. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:PHIL.0000014532.56866.5c.

Clotworthy, Amy, Agnete Skovlund Dissing, Tri-Long Nguyen, Anders Kryger Jensen, Thea Otte Andersen, Josephine Funck Bilsteen, Leonie K. Elsenburg, Amélie C. Keller, Sasmita Kusumastuti, Jimmi Mathisen, Amar J. Mehta, Angela Pinot de Moira, Morten Hulvej Rod, Morten Skovdal, Katrine Strandberg-Larsen, Ingrid Willaing, Tibor V. Varga, Johan Lerbech Vinther, Tianwei Xu, Klaus Hoeyer, and Naja Hulvej Rod. 2020. “‘Standing Together – at a Distance’: Documenting Changes in Mental-health Indicators in Denmark during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1177/1403494820956445.

Clotworthy, Amy. 2017. “Empowering the Elderly? A Qualitative Study of Municipal Home-health Visits and Everyday Rehabilitation.” Ph.D. diss., University of Copenhagen.

DHMA, Danish Health and Medicines Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen). 2020. “Hvad Kan Ældre og Personer med Kronisk Sygdom Gøre for at Beskytte Sig Mod Coronavirus/COVID-19?” (What Can the Elderly and People with Chronic Illness Do to Protect Themselves Against Coronavirus/COVID-19?). Accessed October 14, 2020. https://www.sst.dk/da/Nyheder/2020/Hvad-kan-aeldre-og-personer-med-kronisk-sygdom-goere-for-at-beskytte-sig-mod-coronavirus-COVID-19.

Douglas, Mary. 1966. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. London, U.K.: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd.

Foucault, Michel. 1979. Discipline and Punish. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin.

Foucault, Michel. 2003. ‘Society Must Be Defended’: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975–76. Translated by David Macey. New York, N.Y., USA: Picador.

Gullestad, Marianne. 1989. “Small Facts and Large Issues: the Anthropology of Contemporary Scandinavian Society.” Annual Review of Anthropology 18: 71–93. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.an.18.100189.000443.

Kaufman, Sharon R. 1994. “Old Age, Disease, and the Discourse on Risk: Geriatric Assessment in U.S. Health Care.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 8(4): 430–47. https://doi.org/10.1525/maq.1994.8.4.02a00060.

Larsen, Kristian and Kim Esmark. 2013. “Velfærdsstat, Sundhed og Kroppe under Forandring – Norske og Danske Studier” (Welfare State, Health and Bodies in Transition – Norwegian and Danish Studies). Praktiske Grunde: Nordisk Tidsskrift for Kultur- og Samfundsvidenskab 7(1-2): 7–14.

Lidegaard, Bo. 2009. A Short History of Denmark in the 20th Century. Copenhagen, Denmark: Gyldendal.

Mik-Meyer, Nanna and Kaspar Villadsen. 2013. Power and Welfare: Understanding Citizens’ Encounters with State Welfare, 1st edition. Oxford, U.K. and New York, N.Y., USA: Routledge.

Pedersen, Ove Kaj. 2011. Konkurrencestaten (The Competition State). Copenhagen, Denmark: Hans Reitzels Forlag.

Pedersen, Oline. 2016. “Sundhedspleje, Børnehave og Konkurrencestat?” (Healthcare, Kindergarten and Competition State?). Tidsskriftet Antropologi 73 (Velfærdsstaten 2): 35–53.

Petersen, Jørn Henrik, Klaus Petersen, and Niels Finn Christiansen, eds. 2010. Frem mod Socialhjælpsstaten: Dansk Velfærdshistorie bd. 1, 1799–1898 (Towards the Social-help State: Danish Welfare History, part 1: 1799–1898). Odense, Denmark: Syddansk Universitetsforlag.

Petersen, Jørn Henrik, Klaus Petersen, and Niels Finn Christiansen, eds. 2011. Mellem Skøn og Ret: Dansk Velfærdshistorie bd. 2, 1898–1933 (Between Discretion and Right: Danish Welfare History, part 2: 1898–1933). Odense, Denmark: Syddansk Universitetsforlag.

Powers, Penny. 2003. “Empowerment as Treatment and the Role of Health Professionals.” Advances in Nursing Science 26(3): 227–37. https://doi.org/10.1097/00012272-200307000-00007.

Rabinow, Paul and Nikolas Rose. 2006. “Biopower Today.” BioSocieties 1: 195–217. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1745855206040014.

Regeringen (The Government). 2020. “Situationen Kommer til at Stille Kæmpe Krav til Os Alle Sammen” (The Situation is Going to Place Huge Demands on All of Us). Accessed July 17, 2020. https://www.regeringen.dk/nyheder/2020/statsminister-mette-frederiksens-indledning-paa-pressemoede-i-statsministeriet-om-corona-virus-den-11-marts-2020/.

Rostgaard, Tine. 2006. “Constructing the Care Consumer: Free Choice of Home Care for the Elderly in Denmark.” European Societies 8(3): 443–463. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616690600822048.

Schrage-Frueh, Michaela and Tony Tracy. 2020. “Ageing and Ageism in the Age of Coronavirus and Cocooning. RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann).” Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster, Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Accessed October 14, 2020. https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2020/0415/1130565-coronavirus-ageing-ageism-cocooning/?fbclid=IwAR3I-X5gdVcS4o02a-cEKSgHL-MqMNnQIHWwRB-YSuJB65t7J74yqiMe71M.

Springer, Simon, Kean Birch, and Julie MacLeavy, eds. 2016. The Handbook of Neoliberalism. London, U.K., and New York, N.Y., USA: Routledge.

Thelen, Tatjana and Cati Coe. 2019. “Political Belonging through Elderly Care: Temporalities, Representations and Mutuality.” Anthropological Theory 19(2): 279–299. https://doi.org/10.1177/1463499617742833.

Tronto, Joan. 2017. “There is an Alternative: Homines Curans and the Limits of Neoliberalism.” International Journal of Care and Caring 1(1): 27–43. https://doi.org/10.1332/239788217X14866281687583.

Twigg, Julia. 2002. “The Body in Social Policy: Mapping a Territory.” Journal of Social Policy 31(3): 421–439. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279402006645.

Vallgårda, Signild. 2001. “Governing People’s Lives: Strategies for Improving the Health of the Nations in England, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.” European Journal of Public Health 11(4): 386–392. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/11.4.386.

Velasquez, Manuel, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J., and Michael J. Meyer. 2018. “The Common Good.” In Issues in Ethics 5(1) (Spring 1992): 623–635. Accessed October 14, 2020. https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decision-making/the-common-good/.

Verbeek, Hilde, Debby L. Gerritsen, Ramona Backhaus, Bram S. de Boer, Raymond T.C.M. Koopmans, and Jan P.H. Hamers. 2020. “Allowing Visitors Back in the Nursing Home during the COVID-19 Crisis – A Dutch National Study into First Experiences and Impact on Well-being.” Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 21(7): 900–904. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2020.06.020.

Weicht, Bernhard. 2013. “The Making of ‘the Elderly’: Constructing the Subject of Care.” Journal of Aging Studies 27: 188–197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2013.03.001.

WHO, World Health Organization. 2020. “WHO Director-General’s Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19 – 11 March 2020.” Accessed April 8, 2020. https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/aa.2020.318


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Amy Clotworthy, Rudi GJ Westendorp

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.