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- Author or Editor: Philip Tew x
This chapter focuses on the qualitative research undertaken through engagement with older respondents within the Fiction and Cultural Mediation of Ageing Project (FCMAP). Through consideration of FCMAP’s underlying methodologies and its data collection drawn from reflective diaries kept by University of the Third Age (U3A) Volunteer Reading Groups (VRGs), responses to a directive issued to existing diarists by the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex with longitudinal analytical comparisons, and transcripts of ‘Ageing Re-imagined’ literary events and associated author interviews, FCMAP mapped the patterns of experience of and attitudinal responses to ageing. This chapter also outlines FCMAP’s development and subsequent data analysis in relation to key elements and outlines FCMAP’s collaboration with researchers from think-tank Demos and its prioritising of policy aspects of the research context, producing a policy report Coming of Age before summarising its overall findings.
This chapter discusses the narratives of ageing, looking at how older people can reflect on their lives and explore new opportunities. This concern with how older people represent themselves, and are represented by others, is a relatively new one in gerontology. On the other hand, images of old age and especially ageing bodies have such a powerful and largely negative impact on social attitudes to older people. The NDA authors seek to challenge this point of view by developing transformative narratives through participation in a range of arts-related activities including reading, art appreciation, community arts, and photography. This chapter examines five path-breaking NDA projects where older people actively engaged with the dominant cultural narratives of ageing. It also explores more positive and personally enriching narratives which demonstrate creativity and opened up numerous new possibilities for them.
This chapter presents a comprehensive introduction to the major gerontological topic of participation and social connectivity based on eleven separate NDA projects. Looking at Brazil, India, and South Africa, the chapter begins with a summary of the critical importance of participation to health and well-being in later life. It challenges negative stereotypes of ageing and older people, such as declining participation. It shows that older people do participate and are often tenacious in this but they are often confronted with multiple barriers that prevent them from doing so. The chapter concludes by citing examples on how to improve meaningful participation in later life, which ranges from community arts to literature.