Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Transitions and pathways to living alone : changes in living arrangements amongst older people in late modernity
Author: Ogg, Jim.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3455 3234
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2001
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis examines the phenomenon of the increasing number of middle-aged and older people who are living alone. Using survey and qualitative data, the principal aim is to determine whether the experience of living alone in later life and the way in which social relationships are organised is significantly different than in the past. Central to this aim is an analysis of how the different pathways to living alone, through widowhood, separation, divorce, and remaining single, influence the social relationships of men and women in different age cohorts. The thesis addresses these questions in the context of the conditions of late modernity, where the growth of intimacy has emerged as an important quality of relationships to exist alongside formerly dominant normative and prescriptive roles of the family. The findings provide little evidence that living alone represents a form of weakened family ties or other forms of informal networks. Despite this robustness, different pathways to living alone influence how social relationships are made, maintained and renewed. Among older people, the desire for residential independence following widowhood has been strengthened during the latter part of the twentieth century. The growth of intimacy as a defining feature of relationships is less applicable among the older age groups of individuals living alone. For middle-aged adults new pathways to living alone exist through separation and divorce. The characteristics of middle-aged individuals living alone suggest different types of experiences, resulting from influences such as life-style choices or separated families. Gender differences in the experience of living alone are an important feature among both the middle-aged and older age groups. The thesis concludes with hypotheses concerning how social support will be accessed by future cohorts of older people living alone.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gerontology