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Different ways of understanding the construct of successful aging: Iranian immigrants speak about what aging well means to them
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.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, ISSN 0169-3816, Vol. 21, no 1-2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents the variations in themes and notions of successful aging that were found in a project that aimed to shed light on the value orientations that people prefer and the understandings of successful aging that they uphold. The project, which aimed also to study the way in which the process of migration challenges the notions in question, shed light on the various types of logic that Iranian immigrants to Sweden use when trying to make sense of the construct of successful aging. This article departs from these variations and discusses, among other things, the inevitable decay with which the aging process seems to be associated, the different purpose-related ideologies that people use when trying to explain how the decay in question ought to be handled, the way in which time-related ideas influence the manner in which notions of aging well are framed, the manner in which divergent views regarding activity shape the understandings of successful aging that people uphold, and the way in which ideas regarding autonomy and dependence shape the way in which one defines a good old age. The complexity of logic types utilized by the informants suggests that, if researchers are to further their understanding of the meaning of the construct of successful aging, they need to dismantle people's ideas as well as the way in which they use culture when trying to make sense of what aging well entails. The article finishes with a brief discussion regarding the importance of intracultural variation and suggests that researchers need a better understanding of culture's impact on the manner in which the construct in question is understood if they are to develop the successful aging paradigm in a culturally informed manner. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 21, no 1-2
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-31628DOI: 10.1007/s10823-006-9017-zLocal ID: 17434OAI: diva2:252451
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 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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