Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Forms of community participation among older people: trajectories and paths

Sixsmith, J. and Valletta, L. (2011) Forms of community participation among older people: trajectories and paths. Paper presented to: Research Institute for Health and Social Change (RIHSC) Annual Conference 2011, Manchester, 01 July 2011. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract: Social participation is a controversial concept which has more recently been researched with regard to relationship with older people's health and well-being. Understanding older people's different forms of participation and analysing them in specific contexts is useful both from a theoretical and a policy point of view since participation has become a key concept of the UK government's Big Society. This paper presents preliminary findings from an exploratory analysis of older people's community participation, focusing on forms of, barriers to and opportunities for participation. The analysis draws on three different research sources: 1) a thematic analysis of interview transcripts form the ENABLE-AGE project (UK, 2003); 2) a computer-assisted analysis (ATLAS.ti) of qualitative data from an Italian study (Trajectories of over 60s' social and political participation in Cesena; 2010); 3) an ongoing literature review of current debates on older people's community participation. Preliminary findings show that several physical, psychological, social and environmental factors can influence the different ways in which older people experience community participation. Among the physical, psychological and social factors: people's bodily changes, self-efficacy, experience, time available, requirement to redefine social roles and their need to feel useful. Environmental factors include the presence of public transportation and communication technologies. According to our findings, community participation can be articulated in different forms: proactive, active and peripheral. In this paper we outline the characteristics of each form of older people's community participation and their different trajectories towards it. This analysis will form the basis for the construction of an interview schedule that will be used with a British sample of older people. The interview will focus on the dynamics of participation, including transitions into and out of participation.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF712 Developmental psychology > BF724.55 Older people
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM1001 Social psychology > HM1106 Interpersonal relations. Social behavior
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ1060 Aged. Gerontology (Social aspects). Retirement
Creators: Sixsmith, Judith and Valletta, L
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Health & Society
Date: 1 July 2011
Date Type: Presentation
Event Title: Research Institute for Health and Social Change (RIHSC) Annual Conference 2011
Event Dates: 01 July 2011
Event Location: Manchester
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Unpublished
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