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The Life Stories of Older Widows - Situating Later Life Widowhood Within the Life Course

Chambers, Pat (2002) The Life Stories of Older Widows - Situating Later Life Widowhood Within the Life Course. In: Narrative, Memory and Life Transitions. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 23-41.

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Widowhood in later life, an expected life course transition for older women, is
generally presented in the literature as a homogenous ‘problem’ of old age, a
time of unhappiness, loneliness and decline. The bulk of the research has been
quantitative and has been carried out within two years of the death of the
spouse, during a time in which some women are still coming to terms with loss.
Little attention has been paid to the ongoing experience of widowhood, despite
the fact that an older woman may spend many years as a widow. Furthermore,
widowhood has been treated as an entity in itself rather than an integral part of
older women’s lives. This paper suggests that by using a biographical
approach, which engages older women in the research process, it is possible to
look at widowhood through a different lens: one, which acknowledges both the
multiplicity of experiences and relationships that older women bring to this
time of their lives and the diversity therein. Drawing on a series of unstructured
interviews with older widows from Stockport, the paper suggests that the use
of a biographical approach, underpinned by feminist gerontology, provides us
with a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of the multi-faceted
experience of later life widowhood from the perspective of older widows

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: Copyright for chapters remain with individual authors at all times and permission should be sought from the author for any reproduction other than for personal use.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > Narrative and Memory Research Group > Narrative and Memory Research Group Annual Conference
School of Human and Health Sciences
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Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2009 08:26
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 22:50


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