Publication details

Lonely older men – gendered construction and experience of loneliness



Year of publication 2021
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description The social networks are essentially gender-based. The idea of loneliness appeared to be incompatible with “traditional” masculinity, the typical picture of loneliness in old age evokes the idea of a widow - frail older women. Old age and loneliness thus together disrupt the hegemonic ideal of masculinity. Loneliness is a subjective feeling and part of a broader concept of social exclusion from social relations, which involves a lack of access to high-quality interpersonal relationships, adequate social networks and sufficient social opportunities. Embedded in the constructionist grounded theory approach, we analyze data from 15 qualitative interviews with older men (age 65+ years) living in the Czech Republic, focusing on the exclusion from social relations as a highly contextualized issue. Our participants are living alone, they are widowers, divorced or never-married men. We closely explore the relationship between biographical events, the intensity of social relations in later life within and beyond the nuclear family and the subjective feelings of loneliness and solitude. We argue that various dimensions of exclusion from social relations must be taken into account as people deal with its impacts both on situational (feeling of loneliness of one person vary in different spatial, temporal and social contexts) as well as a long-term basis (when loneliness is linked e.g. to social marginalization) and gender represents an essential source of perspective. Our paper is part of the GENPATH project (TJ03000002) “A life course perspective on the GENdered PATHways of Social exclusion in later life, and its consequences for health and wellbeing”.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info