Older people, place and intergenerational relations
Penny Curtis (University of Sheffield)
Tony Ryan (University of Sheffield)
Paper short abstract:
This paper considers generational identification of, and generational othering by, older people who were variably, ageing in place within their communities, ageing in place within new (supported) living arrangements or ageing out of place in a new locality within an extra care housing complex.
Paper long abstract:
This paper presents findings from a study examining intergenerational relations within one relatively deprived area of a post-industrial city in the North of England. Data were generated through focus group discussions involving a diverse group of older people, including those who were ageing in place within their communities, those who were ageing in place within new (supported) living arrangements and those who had migrated from other localities to live in an extra care housing complex. We consider how generational identities were constructed by and became meaningful for older people through the invocation of similarities and differences between differently positioned actors within the generational frame. Through the co-construction of consensual understandings of 'good manners', respect, discipline and family life, older people articulated a clear contrast between members of 'their generation' and the non-old. However, this age-othering was nuanced by older people's emplacement. Although all of the participants in the study lived within the same neighbourhood, their community embeddedness and their experiences of age segregation varied. Those older people who had remained 'in place' in their own homes were more likely to express stronger bonds with younger people within and out-with the family. Older people who had moved from the local community into the extra care complex and who were ageing in place in a micro-community within a community, expressed similar suspicion and ambivalence towards other generations to that of the older people who were ageing out of place. The paper will conclude by discussing implications for intergenerational relations and community cohesion.
Staying, moving, (re)settling: transitioning practices, actors and places of care in later life [Age and Generations Network]