By Dr Nick Hubble;Philip Tew
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Additional info for Ageing, Narrative and Identity: New Qualitative Social Research
Again this is coordinated in comparative terms, across a range of generations, periods and experiences, noting shifting social mores in the everyday, accounting for them anecdotally, personally and through an implicit narrative analysis structure. Part of this set of responses can be comprehended in the light of Berger and Luckmann’s critical observation that ‘The world of everyday life is structured both spatially and temporally’ (40), that is in terms of its multidimensionality. But one might consider extending these parameters, for one must recognize radically and dynamically (as central tenets) the following processes.
One focus of the research was age prejudice which clearly still seems in everyday interactions to be a self-legitimizing social prejudice (also given the received wisdom that contemporary culture obsesses largely with youth and beauty). Many participants reflected on these processes, by which ageing subjects are considered less attractive, a process that serves to confirm long-established narratives concerning ageing, and which was seen especially in the case of women (although that may have been due to the majority of respondents being female) as resulting in an undermining of one’s social value.
And the above is only a suggestive part of the overall picture of possibilities. As with all aspects of lived experience, it is difficult to capture the full plenitude of narrative and its myriad intersecting forms, the one interrelating or abutting the other. Such complex structures of narrative will be further investigated throughout the rest of this book. In conclusion, Ageing, Narrative and Identity: New Qualitative Social Research is offered as a quintessential narrative inquiry into the social 28 Ageing, Narrative and Identity and personal domains, interested in two specific yet broad contexts: (1) the social roles ascribed to and apprehended by the participants themselves, and (2) at various levels the narrative function inherent in agency and intersubjective social relations that helps sustain, reshape the production of ever-changing everyday identities and opinions, at times reinventing or revising these culturally as well as individually.