ERIC Number: ED231683
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Dec-7
Reference Count: 0
Sisyphean Strategies for Aging Research: Cultural Constraints on Research.
Luborsky, Mark R.
In an effort to demonstrate why good qualitative ethnography must be an equal partner in the process of building scientific knowledge, this study examined how the personal meanings assigned to the public concept of retirement affected the social actions of the elderly when they retired. The public and personal interpretations/meanings workers assign to the concept and practice of retirement were documented. Interviews were conducted with 44 persons prior to, at, and after retirement. Approximately 10% of those interviewed refused to describe themselves, or allow others to refer to them as, retirees. This category of workers who snub the notion of retirement conceptualized the whole idea and status of retirement differently than the other informants, e.g., they refused to participate in retirement ceremonies others wanted to provide for them; they did not see retirement as the end of a useful, productive life marked by the onset of dependencies and physical and mental disabilities. In previous research studies of a similar nature, adequate controls have not been provided for the effects of variable subjective interpretations of retirement. Factors which limited the number of volunteers to be interviewed in this study are briefly discussed. (RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (Washington, DC, December, 1982).