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Title: Growing old in Easington : a life course study of ageing and the social environment in the former mining villages of Easington, County Durham
Author: Englund, Julie Anne
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the lives of older people in the former mining communities of the East Durham coalfield (the former District of Easington). The study considers whether there are unique challenges faced by older adults in an area that is classed as deprived in national measures of socio-economic disadvantage. This qualitative research explores the quality of later life for older people in Easington and, against the backdrop of the life course theory, addresses the broad question: what has the Easington context, with its historic mining culture, contributed to older residents’ experience of ageing?” The study found that the”lived experience” of older people in Easington is influenced by their own personality, family structure and life opportunities (in education, employment and retirement), each of which have contributed to participants’ experience of ageing. Study results also confirmed the positive and negative effects neighbourhood,”place” and social networks have on older peoples’ overall quality of life. The sense of social connectedness is an important factor relating to a positive quality of later life. An important finding was that loss of community infrastructure resulting from closure of the mines has profoundly influenced the ageing experience of older people in Easington. This research confirms previous studies which highlight the fact that older people residing in such socio-economically deprived areas are at increased risk of social exclusion. The thesis ends with a discussion of some implications from the study for ageing policy and service development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Research Management & Governance Unit of NHS County Durham
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available