Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

How to leap-frog the young: downsizing and transformation.  
Pauline Garvey (Maynooth University, National University of Ireland)

Paper short abstract:

Instead of domestic transformation or downsizing as a road to decline, I argue that my participants who have transformed or replaced their home in their retirement do so as part of a hopeful investment in the future.

Paper long abstract:

One of the most significant ciphers for hope and fear in the Irish retired community rests on one word: home. At its best, home represents privately-owned family structures, representing a lifetime of personal memory and achievement, and a bulwark against financial uncertainty. At its worst, home implies residential care that may be anticipated with dread, particularly when associated with declining health and frailty. Home is not only saturated with sentiment but it carries heft in other ways. It can be a burden.

Within the context of ageing, and as part of our research project The Anthropology of Smart Phones and Smart Ageing, I question the notion of ‘downsizing’ amongst our research participants (Garvey and Miller 2020). Downsizing is a familiar option amongst my Dublin research participants. They are all too aware of the current housing crisis, which translates into subtle pressure on older people to share or relinquish their homes and give way to growing families. However, instead of downsizing as a road to decline, or as bowing to social pressure, the majority of my participants who have transformed or replaced their home do so as part of a hopeful investment in the future.

Instead of a trajectory towards decline, therefore, we find that a changed environment materialises more profound personal transformations. Instead of shrinking horizons, or engaging in ‘death cleansing’ my participants are securing forward-looking ‘modern’ environments, espousing anti-materialist Green ideals, relinquishing the detritus of the past and leap-frogging the young.

Panel P107a
The Transformation of Hope in Retirement I
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -