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Vignette methodology and culture-relevance: lessons learned through a project on successful aging with Iranian immigrants to Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Journal of cross-cultural gerontology, ISSN 1573-0719, Vol. 24, no 1, 93-114 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is a well-known fact that cultural values play an important role in the construction of aging and old-age related understandings. This is why ethnogerontologists have tried to expand the gerontological imagination by arguing that research needs to become more culturally-relevant. Tapping into the values that people uphold and the understandings of aging that are shaped by them is a challenging endeavor. This is especially the case if one does not share the cultural background of the people whose values one is studying. The same holds true when one wants to shed light on understandings that mainstream social gerontology regards as deviations from the norm. It is after all relatively easy to "impose the Western template" under such circumstances. Vignette methodology has been found to be particularly useful when studying value-laden understandings. This is why it is an appropriate method to consider when designing research that aims to avoid the imposition of the Western template. This article focuses on the pros and cons of this methodology while discussing some of the lessons learned from a project that explored how the construct of successful aging is understood by a group of Iranian immigrants to Sweden. It will be argued that vignettes are particularly useful when trying to shed culturally-relevant light on aging and old age-related understandings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 24, no 1, 93-114 p.
Keyword [en]
Vignettes, Social gerontological methods, Methodology, Ethnogerontology, Cross-cultural gerontology, Iranians, Older migrants
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-18961DOI: 10.1007/s10823-009-9095-9PubMedID: 19199017OAI: diva2:222149
Available from: 2009-06-06 Created: 2009-06-06 Last updated: 2010-02-04

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Torres, Sandra
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NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later LifeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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