To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The experiences of maturing and ageing constitute a rather unexplored field within Gerontology. The ‘inner’ aspects of ageing have been left relatively untouched by researchers, largely out of methodological considerations. The ‘outer’ aspect of ageing, or ageing defined as behaviour, has been considered more fruitful due to its consistency with criteria for science created by logical positivism. Psychogerontologists in particular have been mesmerized by this research paradigm. However, this trend has also, for some time now, been criticized for underestimating the perceptions of the reality upon which we form our reasons for action (Runyan 1982; Carr 1986). Further, there are exceptions to this main stream of research. For example, the German psychogerontologist Thomae created a theory of ageing in 1970 based on the perceptual, evaluative and meaning – giving processes within the individual (Thomae 1970). In a series of studies (The BOLSA studies), he has been able to lend support to most of his theoretical claims (see Kruse and Schmitz-Schertzer 1995). Also the Canadian gerontologists Reker and Wong (1988) belong to the group of pioneers advocating the importance of personal meaning in successful ageing.
The present investigation was based on the analysis of twenty respondents, ten men and ten women, all retired. The written texts were obtained from the archives of one of the authors who gathered autobiographies using a guided method of assigned topics of life. The main objective for this analysis was to find those central life goals and dominant activities around which the projects of life were formed. Sorting of life projects was done according to the constant comparison method described by Glaser and Strauss in their Grounded Theory model. Five types of life projects were identified in the narratives: living is achieving, living is being social, living is loving, living is family life, living is struggling. Considerable gender differences appeared in the findings with women showing a broader participation and interpretation of life where family life, community work and job careers were important. The men tended to be more monothematic focusing either on a personal achievement or a career development in a more social context. The rhetoric in the discourse of life themes was quite different between the sexes reflecting the sex role scripts of the cohort studied. Only in some of the types was the class dimension clearly visible where the type living is achieving and to a certain extent even living is being social reflected upper middle class and upper class occupations while living is loving reflected middle class occupations. The positive narrative tone and the telling of well-managed life projects and success stories in most of the accounts were considered as American features in comparison to some Finnish life stories that contained more of the telling of hardships. The most gender bound accounts such as the masculine living is achieving and the feminine living is loving life projects showed the greatest resemblances between these two western cultures revealing comparable master scripts.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.