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Title: The retirement process : a developmental stage in the life course of ballet dancers
Author: Roncaglia, Irina
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
Retirement in ballet dancers receives relatively little attention in psychology and sociology. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the experiences of retirement and career transition in ballet dancers, from a life course perspective. The study is based on the assumption that retiring from a professional dancing career can be a fairly difficult process for those who identify themselves highly with their role. It aimed at exploring the different factors influencing this process, and the ways in which they account for either a positive or problematic transition. Drawing upon existing life span and transition models (Erikson, 1963; Levinson et al. 1978; Schlossberg, 1981) as well as from sport literature (Taylor & Ogilvie, 1994), and social gerontological theories (Atchley, 1989; Cumming & Henry, 1961; Havighurst, 1963) the study explored the meaning of retirement for ballet dancers, whilst also critically examining the usefulness ofthese existing models. The study was divided into three phases. All three phases used an idiographic approach and the methods of analysis used were: elements of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and tenets of Grounded Theory. Through hermeneutic data gathering the study analysed semi-structured interviews from 14 international ballet dancers. The results from the three phases of analysis identified four main themes and a range of sub-categories. These were compiled into a theoretical Model, described and applied to the findings to illustrate their theoretical utility. The four main themes emerging from the analysis were: 'Reasons for Retirement', 'Sources and Types of Support', 'Coping Within & Without', and 'Floating Resolutions: The Sequels'. These themes provided a framework for the analysis of the retirement experience of the individual ballet dancer as it is experienced within the individual's life world. The 'Contextual Factors', 'Personal Resources' and 'Emotional Responses', which illuminated the further complexity of participants' meaning making around the process, were also identified as being central elements in the change. The social context in which the transition occurred influenced the way and the types of support sought by each individual. The Responses of the individuals were analysed at three points of the transition process: the time leading up to the disengagement from the ballet world, the event itself, and the period of re-engagement with a new role and new life. It was found that the individual can experience different responses, which necessitate different types of support. Different types of outcomes were identified with some ex-ballet dancers engaging with similar professions to the dancing career as 're-makers', and others leaping into different roles as 'exposers'. For some, a link to the past seemed to remain part of their newly formed identities. Finally the thesis discusses some of the practical implications for the future career development and career guidance needed. Accepting the change, adapting skill-based and recognising the transferability of skills previously acquired can assist tanner dancers and other individuals who face phases of transitions throughout their life span.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.635549  DOI: Not available
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