Publication details

The expected, evaluated, perceived, valued, and prevalent social roles of older people : are they by consent?



Year of publication 2018
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

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Description This chapter uses the Active Ageing Index as an “operationalisation” of the dominant policy paradigm – active ageing – and compares it with selected results of an analysis of the Eurobarometer Active Ageing survey (2012) and the European Value Study (2008) as sources of information on the perceived roles and contributions of older people in today’s Europe, and on older peoples´ own preferences and prevalent role sets. This comparison provides an answer to the question of whether expected, evaluated, perceived, and valued roles are by consent. The active ageing concept highlights economically and socially productive roles such as worker, volunteer, and care provider, the first two of which are also given the highest weight in the Active Ageing Index measure. However, the surveys show that older people are socially recognised primarily for their contributions as grandparents and providers of support for families. If the preferences of older people themselves are considered, the roles of grandparent, partner, friend, and parent are attributed the highest value. The representative survey “Life roles (2014)” among the Czech young-old has shown that friend, parent, sibling, and partner are the most prevalent roles within their complex role sets. Thus, the overlap between these different points of view is limited. AAI rankings are strongly and positively correlated with the perceived contributions of older people in the volunteer and worker roles, but negatively associated with their level of contribution in the grandparenting role. This discussion calls for strengthening the weight of the social and family roles within the AAI.
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