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“Move or Suffer”

“Move or Suffer” Despite ethical claims that civic societies should foster intergenerational integration, age-segregation is a widespread yet understudied phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to understand the reasons that led community-dwelling older Americans to relocate into senior housing. Qualitative data were collected through participant observation and ethnographic interviews with 47 older adults living alone in San Francisco, California. Half of study participants lived in housing for seniors, the other half in conventional housing. Data were analyzed with standard qualitative methods. Findings illuminate the dynamics that favor age-segregation. Senior housing might be cheaper, safer, and offer more socializing opportunities than conventional housing. Yet, tenants of senior housing may also experience isolation, crime, and distress. Findings suggest that rather than individual preference, cultural, political, and economic factors inform the individual decision to relocate into age-segregated settings. Findings also call for an increased awareness on the ethical implications of societies increasingly segregated by age. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Gerontology SAGE

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References (66)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2014
ISSN
0733-4648
eISSN
1552-4523
DOI
10.1177/0733464814538118
pmid
25186312
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite ethical claims that civic societies should foster intergenerational integration, age-segregation is a widespread yet understudied phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to understand the reasons that led community-dwelling older Americans to relocate into senior housing. Qualitative data were collected through participant observation and ethnographic interviews with 47 older adults living alone in San Francisco, California. Half of study participants lived in housing for seniors, the other half in conventional housing. Data were analyzed with standard qualitative methods. Findings illuminate the dynamics that favor age-segregation. Senior housing might be cheaper, safer, and offer more socializing opportunities than conventional housing. Yet, tenants of senior housing may also experience isolation, crime, and distress. Findings suggest that rather than individual preference, cultural, political, and economic factors inform the individual decision to relocate into age-segregated settings. Findings also call for an increased awareness on the ethical implications of societies increasingly segregated by age.

Journal

Journal of Applied GerontologySAGE

Published: Aug 1, 2016

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