The rapid ageing of the world population has led social scientists to speak about an ageing society, posing new questions and concerns, and to advance different theoretical perspectives. Among these, Positive Aging, Successful Ageing, Active Ageing constitute social psychological and social policy models explicitly designed to help people face later phases of life at their best. Various studies also exist on the Social Representations of ageing, while less attention has been given directly to ageing-well. The aim of this study is to explore the issue as considered by people living in contexts characterized by different societal situations and trajectories: an Italian and a Brazilian context. Geopolitical belonging and age were taken into account: 360 participants, with a 2 (geopolitical context) × 3 (age group: young, adult, elderly) design, equally balanced by gender, were invited to complete a free associations task on “ageing-well” and to answer an open question on what they see as being most important in order to live longer and better. Results relating to the more implicit level of analysis highlight a hegemonic representation enhancing individual accomplishments and resources in both contexts, as well as relational bonds to the detriment of societal commitment. The importance of societal concern is clearly advanced in the explicit argumentations made mainly by Brazilian respondents, while Italian ones place high expectations on research but basically interiorize the individualization of risks and demands brought by ageing. These and other results are discussed – theoretically and methodologically – in relation to the proposed models and to urgent challenges that the ageing society is posing on a worldwide scale.

"Ageing Well" in Changing Times and Places. Further Notes on Anchoring and Stakes in a Brazilian and an Italian Context

CONTARELLO, ALBERTA;PICCOLO, CHIARA;
2016

Abstract

The rapid ageing of the world population has led social scientists to speak about an ageing society, posing new questions and concerns, and to advance different theoretical perspectives. Among these, Positive Aging, Successful Ageing, Active Ageing constitute social psychological and social policy models explicitly designed to help people face later phases of life at their best. Various studies also exist on the Social Representations of ageing, while less attention has been given directly to ageing-well. The aim of this study is to explore the issue as considered by people living in contexts characterized by different societal situations and trajectories: an Italian and a Brazilian context. Geopolitical belonging and age were taken into account: 360 participants, with a 2 (geopolitical context) × 3 (age group: young, adult, elderly) design, equally balanced by gender, were invited to complete a free associations task on “ageing-well” and to answer an open question on what they see as being most important in order to live longer and better. Results relating to the more implicit level of analysis highlight a hegemonic representation enhancing individual accomplishments and resources in both contexts, as well as relational bonds to the detriment of societal commitment. The importance of societal concern is clearly advanced in the explicit argumentations made mainly by Brazilian respondents, while Italian ones place high expectations on research but basically interiorize the individualization of risks and demands brought by ageing. These and other results are discussed – theoretically and methodologically – in relation to the proposed models and to urgent challenges that the ageing society is posing on a worldwide scale.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3218329
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