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Older women: patterns of autonomy in a changing family

International Sociological Association paper

Author: Haldemann, V.
Year: 1994
Type: Journal Article


Many people traditionally considered "dependent," including the elderly, are now expected to become autonomous in the context of the welfare state. "Aging in place" is a policy designed for relatively independent people. Older women struggle to live up to these norms of autonomy & do so in a new context: family structure & solidarity have changed. Moreover, welfare provisions are on trial. People must adapt to various kinds of unusual living arrangements, & relationships with other than family members. Two processes in women's struggle for autonomy are examined: the construction of self-identity, & the organization of living arrangements. In a recent housing study on low middle class women of 2 metropolitan areas of Quebec, topical life stories from 30 older widows described their residential history & family relations. Analysis of this qualitative material confirms that the use of "place" has considerable impact on self-identity & perception of autonomy.

Further Details

Accession Number 30.4.03
Keywords North America, older, housing improvement, policy compliance

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