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Is there a ‘fit’ between theories on and the way in which olderpeople make sense of ageing in their everyday lives?
Linköping University, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2015 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores how older people make sense of ageing and discusses how gerontological theories on ageing compare with empirical findings among older people living in the Faroe Islands. Data derived from group and individual interviews with home dwelling retirees aged 68 to 91. A constructionist grounded theory approach was used. From the analysis, three categories arose that each in their way presented important dimensions of ageing: Physical changes with age; social changes with age and ageing perceived as an ongoing process. No single theory could explain the multifaceted empirical realities of ageing that the analysis showed. The findings from this study underscore the importance of acknowledging ageing as a multidimensional process and, most importantly, that understanding this process requires that older people themselves are recognised as co-constructors of knowledge about ageing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Ageing, theories on ageing, continuity and change, adaption, constructivist grounded theory.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120904OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120904DiVA: diva2:849514
Available from: 2015-08-28 Created: 2015-08-28 Last updated: 2015-08-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On the making of age: A constructionist study on ageing and later life in the Faroe Islands
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the making of age: A constructionist study on ageing and later life in the Faroe Islands
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Om att göra ålder : En konstruktionistisk studie om äldre och åldrande på Färöarna
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to explore how older people living in the Faroe Islands make sense of ageing, how political intentions and strategies resonate with the lived reality of ageing and how theories on ageing compare with this reality.

This thesis builds on two data sets. The first set is derived from interviews with women aged 60 to 65 years old who suffer from long-term urine incontinence, a disorder commonly associated with old age. The second set is derived from group and individual interviews with community-dwelling men and women aged 68 to 91 years old.

The results are presented in four papers, each of which addresses aspects of ageing. Health, which appeared to be a strong determinant for how old age was constructed and negotiated, was one aspect considered. The meaning of home or one’s affiliation to a place of living was another important aspect studied. The results of that study indicated the necessity of understanding home as a multifaceted notion that goes beyond a house of residence. In particular, for participants living in small island villages, the notion of home was found to embrace a whole community or island rather than a house of residence, which should promote new thinking about services in remote regions.

The results compare with gerontological theories on ageing. However, the findings demonstrate the importance of acknowledging that the concepts of ageing and old age do not carry any predefined meanings but should be understood as contingent on social, cultural, historical and  geographical conditions.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna avhandling är att undersöka hur äldre människor som lever på Färöarna skapar mening av åldrande, hur politiska intentioner och strategier överensstämmer med den levda verkligheten i åldrandet och hur teorier om åldrandet kan fånga in denna verklighet.

Avhandlingen utgår från två datamängder. Den första datamängden härrör från intervjuer med kvinnor i åldrarna 60 till 65 år som lider av långvarig urininkontinens, en sjukdom ofta förknippad med hög ålder. Den andra datamängden kommer från gruppintervjuer och enskilda intervjuer med hemmaboende män och kvinnor i åldrarna 68 till 91 år.

Resultaten presenteras i fyra artiklar, som var och en behandlar aspekter av åldrande. Hälsa, som visade sig vara en viktig dimension för hur hög ålder konstruerades och förhandlades, var en aspekt att beakta. Betydelsen av hemmet eller en tillhörighet till en plats att leva på, var en annan viktig aspekt. Resultaten från denna studie indikerade att det är nödvändigt att förstå hem som ett mångfasetterat begrepp som går utöver det hus i vilket någon är bosatt. I synnerhet för deltagare som bor i mindre byar belägna på öar, har begreppet hem ofta kommit att omfatta hela byn eller ön snarare än ett enskilt hus. Detta bör ge motiv till ett nytänkande när det gäller samhällets tjänster i avlägset belägna områden.

Resultaten kan jämföras med gerontologiska teorier om åldrandet. Avhandlingens resultat visar dock att det är viktigt att beakta att begreppen åldrande och hög ålder inte bär några fördefinierade innebörder men bör förstås som beroende av sociala, kulturella, historiska och geografiska förhållanden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 66 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 652
Keyword
meaning of ageing, older people, constructionism, Faroe Islands, åldrandets innebörd, konstruktionism, äldre människor, Färöarna
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120905 (URN)978-91-7685-982-7 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-09-04, K2, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-08-28 Created: 2015-08-28 Last updated: 2015-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Róin, Ása
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NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later LifeDepartment of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Social Sciences InterdisciplinaryOther Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

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