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Relational values and ideas regarding "successful aging"
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2002 (English)In: Journal of comparative family studies, ISSN 0047-2328, Vol. 33, no 3, p. 417-431Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper is concerned with the manner in which people make sense of one of gerontology's most debated constructs - successful aging. Gerontologists agree that, as a construct, successful aging is determined by cultural values. In practice, however, the gerontological debate equates successful aging with the delay of the aging process; activity; a future-orientation and managing on one's own. It is this last assumption - the one associated with self-sufficiency -that is this paper's point of departure. Understandings of what it means to age successfully are framed, for example, within the realm of either individual or collective oriented ideas regarding the role that family members ought to play in old age. As themes, familial obligations and expectations regarding the necessary family involvement for a good old age to be insured are therefore central to the cross-cultural study of successful aging. Yet, in the gerontological debate, the cultural variation that exists in regards to familial expectations is often disregarded since it is only individualist ideas in this respect that are taken for granted. As part of a preliminary empirical testing of a newly designed theoretical framework for the study of the relationship between cultural values and successful aging, value orientations regarding relational modes (i.e. whether individual, collateral and lineal relationships are preferred) and the understandings of successful aging that follow from them (i.e. whether successful aging is thought to be contingent self-sufficiency, half-sufficiency or dependency upon one's family in old age) have been studied. Henceforth are theoretical and methodological reflections regarding the findings obtained in this study. This article aims to illustrate how the point of departure of the study in question facilitated and/or inhibited the tapping into respondents' conceptualizations of family duties and the role that family members are expected to fulfill if successful aging is to be ensured.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 33, no 3, p. 417-431
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-2884ISI: 000175487800007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-0036599675OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-2884DiVA, id: diva2:115547
Available from: 2008-01-17 Created: 2008-01-17 Last updated: 2015-07-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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