Publication details

Ageing body through the triangular-shaped perspective: Exploration of individual and relational autonomy.

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Year of publication 2017
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description Most of the academic and public debates about ageing (especially in western societies) resulted in a polarized understanding of old age, dividing it into an independent active phase and a dependent passive phase. While the first phase is characterized by ideas of agelessness and new possibilities, the second phase calls to mind decline, solitude and ultimately death. The question arises, what lived experiences and personal meanings characterize the life in transition between these two polarized forms of old age, as experienced by seniors whose independence is variously limited due to age-related disabilities. In our analysis, we are especially interested about the perception of one´s ageing body and how the care about it is negotiated through the related processes of individual and relational autonomy. Our research on this topic is still in progress and brought a lot of questions to be discussed. Drawing upon this research, we address what we call age asymmetries in the research relationship. We see these asymmetries (physical, cognitive and social) as coexisting with other forms of power imbalances between researcher and research participant. Our poster therefore presents the issues, challenges and difficulties of conducting research interviews with people entering the fourth age that results from these asymmetries. We are convinced that taking interplay of these asymmetries into account is a necessary step when conducting research with older people entering the fourth age. Our aim is also to present a method of timeline as a possible way out of some of the posited difficulties. The timeline technique allows the researcher to approach a person in the transition to the fourth age from the biographical perspective and facilitate later broaching and developing of the more sensitive issues related to the struggles of ageing body such as the life with compensation devices, fears from the falls, the frail body, taking care of it and acceptance the assistance of others.
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