5 research outputs found

    Reconstructing the Social Image of Older Women and Ageing : The Transformative Power of the Narrative Set in the Local Context

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    This case study reveals that age-related areas are the least desirable professional future options for many university students in social work degree programmes. One of the possible causes is the negative social labelling of older age, especially pronounced in respect of older women. Additionally, there is a poor and limited educational approach towards later life and growing older inside and outside the educational settings. This article focuses on the social construction of older age from gender and double theoretical perspectives. In particular, it centers on the pillars of education and profiguration. For educational and analytical purposes, these aspects are approached in the classroom setting from a critical perspective by using the in-depth reading of a book that is set in the local context, in particular, the city of Lleida (Spain). It presents the results of the content analysis and reflections written by 170 first-year university students taking a degree course in social work, and the outcomes of the subsequent classroom discussions with the author of the book. The study results show that better knowledge about the complexities of ageing and later life can lead to the reconstruction of the students’ viewpoints about older age, help foster critical thinking, and defy age-related stereotypes, beliefs, and prejudices.This study is part of the ECAVINAR research project “Ageing, Quality of Life and Creativity through Narrative” (FFI2016-79666-TR) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness MINECO. It has also received funding from the ASISA Foundation Chair of “Health, Education and Quality of Life”

    Age in change: voices and views of older women

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    The youth orientation of Swedish society makes older women invisible. Current norms of youth and beauty exclude and misrepresent the elderly and ageing, and pose a challenge for older women to maintain a positive self-image. This research explores how older women experience and cope with the processes of ageing within a youth centred cultural context. The paper presents and analyzes findings from six semi-structured, in-depth interviews with women between the ages of 65 and 85 regarding their experiences, feelings, and perceptions of ageing in relation to their bodies, to significant others, and to media representations of ageing and old women. The results of the research reveal that these women have, through lived experiences, developed strategies in dealing with ageing in relation to their bodies, to significant others, and to the youth oriented media outlet. Such strategies are diverse and overlap into different contexts, yet themes of approaches utilised by all six respondents emerge in the form of shifting values, humour, communication, and resistance. The results further suggest that identity formation continues in old age, as an embodied process of continuity and change that is influenced by structural factors, relationships, as well as individual agency

    Social policy for older women in Thailand

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    Thailand is ageing at an unprecedented pace. The older population is feminised as Thai women have longer life expectancies than men. The Royal Thai government responds to this phenomenon with various policies and services while treating older persons as a homogenous social group. However, research shows that older women are more likely to be disadvantaged than men due to gender inequality and gendered ageism in the Thai patriarchal society. Therefore, this thesis explores the extent of the disadvantages of older Thai women and how women are figured in the ageing policies. The thesis investigates the status and position of older women compared to older men. It also examines the key determinants of women’s disadvantages and the government’s gender perspective on ageing-related policies. In doing so, this thesis employs a life course approach embedded in the political economy perspective. It applies a mixed methods approach to analyse quantitative and qualitative data to address gender inequality in older age and gender dimensions in ageing-related policies. The findings of this thesis reveal that older Thai women are disadvantaged over older men in several aspects of life, including educational attainment, employment and income, health condition, and domestic and caring responsibility. The findings further demonstrate that women’s statuses and circumstances differ between and within genders which are consequences of the social construction of institutions, policies, individuals’ experiences prior to older age and social structures, such as gender, class, age, and ethnicity, as well as norms and cultural beliefs, across women’s life course. These findings challenge the assumption that older women benefit from the notion of parent repayment. Moreover, it indicates that government ageing-related policies are gender-blind, which is likely to be problematic considering the feminisation of ageing and economic and social changes in Thai society. This thesis, therefore, concludes with practical implications for future policies on ageing in Thailand

    Goals for Older Women and Ageing

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