Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Looking back and moving forward : a biographical approach to ageing
Author: Clarke, Amanda
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2001
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
In contrast to much gerontological research, which provides only a glimpse of the lived experiences of later life, this study investigated the views, practices and circumstances of older people using a biographical approach. Men and women presented a variety of meanings concerning later life and their stories both reflected and resisted some of the commonly held and socially constructed views about later life. All said that they did not feel old, although participants described times in their lives when they did feel old: when they were ill, made redundant or bereaved. Growing older was linked to illness, decline and burden even when this contradicted, as it often did, participants' substantive experiences. Although there are problems and challenges that accompany later life, they are not necessarily overwhelming. Later life was generally portrayed as an active period, in which participants continued to live their lives in an engaged way; helping others, striving for independence, celebrating older age and enjoying its freedoms. People's attitudes and experiences of later life were seen also to be a reflection of their lifetime roles, for example, whether or not they had been active in helping others or had socialised with others in the past. Capabilities and needs were not fixed but changed, according to individual experiences and attitudes, as well as requirements in the face of ill health or financial problems; needs which varied at different times and at different points of the life course. It is argued that the views and experiences of older people should be used as a basis for shaping theory, practice and research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available