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December 2021

A methodological discourse on gender, independence, and frailty: Applied dimensions of identity construction in old age

Author(s): Wolfe, N. K., Coughlan, R., Koehn, S. D.

Journal/Book: J Aging Stud. 1999; 13: 655 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10010, USA. Elsevier Science Inc. 391-401.

Abstract: In this article, we discuss some of the methodological implications of gender, based on research conducted among seniors in the age group 67 to 100 +, living independently (alone, or with minimal assistance) in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada's retirement capital. Our research evolved over time to concern the manner in which people being interviewed altered their presentation of self in discourses on independence and identity, depending on the interviewers gender as well as their own. There are some significant implications that arise from our analysis for assessing the needs of individuals for home-making services and probably for service delivery! in general. This article discusses initial, qualitative interviews conducted with 39 people (19 men and 20 women) dealing specifically with the concept of independence. The chief methodological significance of these interviews derives fi om the strategy of doing two separate sets of interviews using the same protocols, but changing the gender of the interviewer/subject dyads from same-gender interviews to cross-gender interviews and assessing the differences between the two sets of conversations. Prior to the discussion, however, some of the most pressing issues surrounding the health cave of elderly people in Canada, in general and Victoria, in particular, will be addressed briefly as they relate to the rationale for conducting the research.

Note: Article Stephenson PH, Univ Victoria, Dept Anthropol, POB 3050, Victoria, BC V8W 3P5, CANADA

Keyword(s): CARE

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