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Title: An exploration of the routes to empowerment for older women?
Author: Jacob, Mary Kathleen.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3588 2590
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2001
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Older women have been perceived as among the least powerful groups m society expenencmg poverty both as older people and as women. Contemporary challenges to oppression and discrimination, associated with age and gender, together with the social policy focus on combating social exclusion, raise important questions about i) the meanings of social inclusion and exclusion to older women, and ii) the ways in which older women act to achieve a sense of social inclusion. The notions of social inclusion and exclusion are closely linked with the concept of power, and the associated processes of empowerment and disempowerment. Within a theoretical framework based on developing conceptions of power, this thesis examines the role of collective action in achieving a sense of inclusion and empowerment. In-depth interviews were carried out with thirty-seven older women selected to reflect their involvement in four contrasting types of collective action: • political action groups emphasising consciousness raising and change; • organisations emphasising social/leisure activities; • group activity based around learning/education; • voluntary activity as well as a group of women who, through choice or circumstances, were not involved in collective action. Emerging themes were shared/reviewed/refined with five small groups made up of original participants in order to achieve a participatory and iterative process of interpretation, maximising the validity and utility of the findings. The study extends knowledge and understanding of the processes and dynamics of empowering change in the lives of older women, and in particular the potential of different forms of collective action for older women to support processes of empowerment and achieve a sense of social inclusion. It suggests that older women do not simply succumb to their circumstances, they can and do take action. However, it is important to appreciate that these actions are not always viewed as political or as resistance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Poverty