Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Language and the ageing self : a social interactional approach to identity constructions of Greek Cypriot older women
Author: Charalambidou, Anna
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study sheds light on the largely under-investigated area of older women’s identity constructions in peer-group conversations, focusing, in the first instance, on age identities. Self-recorded conversational data of a group of elderly female friends are used, supplemented by ethnographic observations, interviews and a sample of Greek Cypriot media. A social interactional approach to identities, within an ethnomethodological theoretical framework, and a toolkit from membership categorisation analysis and conversation analysis are employed. The discussion focuses on certain phenomena that make relevant old-age identities, either explicitly or as evident from previous research, and also on practices that constitute a very frequent conversational routine of the participants. More specifically, the use of old-age categorisations, painful tellings and tellings of homemaking activities are investigated. Firstly, age identities, as they emerge from the situated use of explicit old-age categorial references and terms of address, are analysed. It is shown that, through the employment of age categorisations, the participants repeatedly disassociate the self from decline-related old-age identities. Secondly, tellings of painful experiences of oneself, an activity that has been found, in earlier research, to be inextricably linked with elderly discourse, as well as their humorous rendering, are examined. It is shown that ill health, bereavement and death are constructed as non-problematic topics of discussion and as normal and expected states. Thirdly, the interactional construction of homemaking activities is investigated. It is found that the informants place great emphasis on claiming the identities of culinary expert and good homemaker and by doing so they also negotiate a host of other extra-situational identities, such as gender, friendship and family roles and ultimately age. On the whole, this bottom-up analysis contributes to ageing and communication research by foregrounding the importance of peer-group interactions and by giving a rare view into older women’s communicative practices and situated understanding of self.
Supervisor: Georgakopoulou-Nunes, Alexandra ; Beaton, Roderick Macleod Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available