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Continuity, change and possibility in older age: identity and ageing-asdiscovery

Cook, PS ORCID: 0000-0002-5985-193X 2018 , 'Continuity, change and possibility in older age: identity and ageing-asdiscovery' , Journal of Sociology, vol. 54, no. 2 , pp. 178-190 , doi: 10.1177/1440783318766147.

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Abstract

Traditionally, sociology has framed older age as a time of disengagement, withdrawal and reducedsocial integration. While now largely dismissed in contemporary sociological understandings ofageing, narratives of decline still feature heavily across social, media, and medical discourses.This negativity towards ageing could be at odds with how older people experience their age andidentity. In this article, I will explore how 16 older people construct their self-identity. Drawingon participant-generated imagery and interview data, this article exposes that they experienceolder age as a time of continuity, discovery, possibility and change, where identity is multipleand fluid, and emerges through the links they make between the past, present and future. Thus,while ageing is not without its difficulties, the research participants challenge the social myths thatreductively and negatively frame older age by constructing an identity that builds on their pastthrough an active exploration of new possibilities and experiences.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cook, PS
Keywords: ageing; older age; identity; third age; phenomenology; narrative analysis; photography; visual methods; active ageing; successful ageing; positive ageing; ageing and wellbeing
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sociology
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN: 1440-7833
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/1440783318766147
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 The Author

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