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Title: Middle class retirement in India : a qualitative study of active ageing, health, family relationships and quality of life
Author: Dhal, Gagan Kumar
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 3441
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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This study explored the lived experience of middle class retirees in India through 40 qualitative semi-structured interviews. Interviews were conducted with 20 male and 20 female middle class retirees covering 30 married, 4 widowed, 1 divorcee and 5 never-married retirees aged between 58 to 75, who had been retired from formal sector employment (e.g. managers, bankers, professors, doctors, engineers, administrators) for at least a year. The interviews were analyzed thematically using a Grounded Theory approach. The main findings of this study suggest that middle class retirees in India searched for an alternative structure to frame their time in retirement to gain an identity after loss of their work-related identity. A strong sense of ‘retirement pride’ influenced their retirement adaptation, which was the aggregate effect of their life’s accomplishments, a successful family life, possession of good health and financial freedom. They enjoyed freedom, but paradoxically longed for a routine in retirement. This thesis argues that routine in retirement was conceived as under the control of the retirees. They enjoyed freedom by structuring their time creatively through meaningful activities, in particularly part-time work, volunteering and leisure activities besides active engagement with family. Both male and female retirees valued the importance of health for Active Ageing with the twin objectives of maintaining good health and not becoming a burden on their family. They actively pursued diverse social relationships with family and friends to remain in control for physical and emotional health. Both male and female retirees maintained an active lifestyle and found satisfaction through the process of Active and Productive Ageing. An important gender difference in middle class retirement was that women showed greater ability to engage in multiple activities by successfully combining their family role with leisure activities, volunteering, part-time work and care-giving. The findings from this study strongly suggest that for middle class retirees in India, a Third Age can be recognised on the basis of a positive attitude, resilience, acceptance, retirement pride, freedom, mental and physical health, companionate marriage (for those who are married), rewarding social relationships, and participation in meaningful activities with a desire to pursue a goal and Active Ageing.
Supervisor: Arber, Sara Sponsor: Government of Odisha
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available