The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Are there life stories other than grandparenthood?

Reynolds, Jill (2011). Are there life stories other than grandparenthood? In: British Society of Gerontology 40th Annual Conference “Understanding and Promoting the Values of Older Age”, 5-7 July 2011, University of Plymouth.

Full text available as:
[img] Microsoft PowerPoint (Version of Record)
Download (368Kb)
URL: http://www.bsg2011plymouth.org.uk/BSG2011-Session_...
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

How do people who are not parents talk about their lives, relationships and their experience of ageing? There is a widespread belief that relationships between adult children and their parents are crucial to the support of older people. There is nonetheless an increasing minority of older people without children (some 18% for women born in 1922 and projected to rise to around 23% for those born in 1972, Quinn et al., 1998). It is important to learn from the experience of those already in their period of later life.
This paper examines datasets from Qualidata studies (SN5237, SN6011) and data from interviews held between 1998 and 2002 with people aged over 65 years. It compares the narratives co-constructed by respondent and interviewer concerning children and grandchildren with the possibilities for a joint construction of stories from childless respondents. My analysis suggests that narrative structures for a life that progresses through stages associated with the heterosexual family are so deeply embedded in the understanding of both interviewer and respondent, that while the beginnings of other kinds of story can be identified, their telling is often inhibited.
Reference
Quinn, M., Ruddock, V. and Wood, R. (1998) ‘Birth Statistics: Recent trends in England and Wales’, Population Trends, 94, pp.12–18.

Item Type: Conference Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 Jill Reynolds
Academic Unit/Department: Health and Social Care > Health and Social Care
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Item ID: 29110
Depositing User: Jill Reynolds
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2011 12:42
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2013 10:34
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/29110
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

View Item
Report issue / request change

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk