ERIC Number: EJ959479
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Baby Boomers in an Active Adult Retirement Community: Comity Interrupted
Roth, Erin G.; Keimig, Lynn; Rubinstein, Robert L.; Morgan, Leslie; Eckert, J. Kevin; Goldman, Susan; Peeples, Amanda D.
Gerontologist, v52 n2 p189-198 Apr 2012
Purpose of the Study: This article explores a clash between incoming Baby Boomers and older residents in an active adult retirement community (AARC). We examine issues of social identity and attitudes as these groups encounter each other. Design and Methods: Data are drawn from a multiyear ethnographic study of social relations in senior housing. Research at this site included in-depth, open-ended interviews (47), field notes (25), and participant observation in the field (500 hr). Research team biweekly discussions and Atlas.ti software program facilitated analysis. Findings: We begin with a poignant incident that has continued to engender feelings of rejection by elders with each retelling and suggests the power and prevalence of ageism in this AARC. We identify three pervasive themes: (a) social identity and image matter, (b) significant cultural and attitudinal differences exist between Boomers and older residents, and (c) shared age matters less than shared interests. Implications: Our data clearly show the operation of ageism in this community and an equating of being old with being sick. The conflict between these two age cohorts suggests that cohort consciousness among Boomers carries elements of age denial, shared by the older old. It also challenges the Third Age concept as a generational phenomenon.
Descriptors: Baby Boomers, Older Adults, Residential Institutions, Retirement, Attitudes, Identification, Generational Differences, Age Differences, Cultural Differences, Interests, Ethnography, Interviews, Participant Observation
Oxford University Press. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, UK. Tel: +44-1865-353907; Fax: +44-1865-353485; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://gerontologist.oxfordjournals.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A