Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Don't Write Off Seniors: Retirees Are Pursuing Their Life Dreams

Date:
February 23, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Contrary to the stereotype of grandparents sitting on the porch in rocking chairs, retirement can be a time of personal growth and activity, according to new research.

Contrary to the stereotype of grandparents sitting on the porch in rocking chairs, retirement can be a time of personal growth and activity, according to new research in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"Our research investigates retirement as a life stage focused on consumption where outdated cultural scripts for retirement are challenged," write authors Hope Jensen Schau (University of Arizona), Mary C. Gilly (University of California, Irvine), and Mary Wolfinbarger (California State University, Long Beach).

The researchers embarked on a research project to explore the phenomena called "identity renaissance." They found that in contrast to images of seniors in decline, many retirees are using their time and money to pursue lifelong interests they had put aside in favor of more immediate obligations prior to retirement.

Using in-depth interviews with retirees, observation of senior centers and a rehabilitation center, and monitoring online forums, the researchers revealed a culture of seniors actively engaging in new projects and picking up old ones.

The study data reveals two categories of identity work among retirees: self-expression and affiliation. Self-expression tends to be more about enhancing or developing the self, and can involve "self-retrieval," when people take up past life projects that were deferred or continue with life interests in the face of change such as illness or disability. Other self-expression projects involve the concept of "self-permanence," or creating a lasting legacy; self-synchronization, which is an effort to align oneself with the current state of culture and society, such as buying a computer and learning to use the internet; or self-discovery, which entails creating new projects, life goals, or memories.

Affiliation projects are more outward focused and can involve moving closer to friends and family; increasing a connection to a place, such as their homeland; or volunteering or working to improve the world situation.

"Our research on retirement as a life transition demonstrates that this later life stage need not focus on cognitive or corporeal decline, but rather celebrate the vibrant identity projects of retirees," write the authors. "It is a time of significant renewal, when individuals have time to engage in identity work in a way not possible since their adolescence."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hope Jensen Schau, Mary C. Gilly, and Mary Wolfinbarger. Consumer Identity Renaissance: The Resurgence of Identity‐Inspired Consumption in Retirement. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; 0 (0): 090113130308053 DOI: 10.1086/597162

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Don't Write Off Seniors: Retirees Are Pursuing Their Life Dreams." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223221539.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, February 23). Don't Write Off Seniors: Retirees Are Pursuing Their Life Dreams. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223221539.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Don't Write Off Seniors: Retirees Are Pursuing Their Life Dreams." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223221539.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

AP (July 23, 2014) Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that took over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets that were then resold. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins