Women's retirement : The self in process of transition.

HAIGH, Janice. (2005). Women's retirement : The self in process of transition. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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This thesis develops a grounded theory of the personal experience of being retired, for twelve women who previously had jobs of a professional/semi-professional status. The focus of the study is on evidence of the ways in which the self-awareness of the participants is challenged and adapts to the changed situation of their lives. The longitudinal study (Study 1) comprises a core group of six women, interviewed three times over 18 months starting soon after retirement. Study 2 comprises a group of four women interviewed once, at a time 6 to 9 years after retirement. Study 3 comprises a group of two women, interviewed once, at a time more than 10 years after retirement. Case studies form the empirical basis of the work, in-depth interviews being the main technique used. Self-descriptive instruments of narrative exercises and diary accounts support interview data. Measures of depression (Beck, 1990; 1987), and self-esteem (Battle, 1981; 1992), are also utilised.Data was analysed using Grounded Theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967; Glaser, 1978; Strauss, 1987; Strauss and Corbin, 1990). A process model of the transition of the Self in retirement emerged from the data. This model shows a process of fragmentation and subsequent re-integration of the Self during the retirement transition. Data from the core group of six women initially identify seven components of the Self: 'Known Self, 'Adjusting Self, 'Defining Self, 'Discovered Self, 'Ageing Self, 'Adapting Self and 'Community Self. A process of re-examination of these components of the Self by participants facilitates a process of reintegration of the Self. This process involves gradual reintegration of the seven initially identified component fragments back into the Self that was known and familiar, the Known Self. Negative aspects of ageing, and the potential threat these aspects of ageing are to the maintenance of the Known Self, are acknowledged and incorporated into self-definition ('Threatened Self and 'Self in Limited Time'). Data from studies 2 and 3 confirm the aspects of'Known Self, 'Threatened Self, and 'Self in Limited Time' to be aspects of the Self that are carried forward in defining the Self in later life. The fragmentation of the sense of Self was experienced in varying degrees by participants, and was evidenced most clearly in the women's sense of identity and selfdefinition.Positive aspects involved in the process of adjustment of the Self to retirement included the realisation that the Known Self has continuity, together with the potential for freedom and new discoveries. Maintenance of the Known Self, however, was found to be more difficult without the medium of the work role for its expression. The proposal that the move from work to retirement involves a psychosocial transition (Parkes, 1971; 1975; Theriault, 1994) is supported by the present study. Also supported are findings by Antonovsky and Sagy (1990), Mann (1991), and Taylor Carter and Cook (1995), indicating that retirement involves re-definition and can have a disruptive influence on a woman's sense of Self. The process model of the transition of the Self in retirement that emerged from the data further develops the work of Antonovsky and Sagy (1990), which identified the developmental outcome of psychological reintegration following retirement. The present investigation develops the process of this re-integration. Hanson and Wapner's (1994) findings, that women experienced that their sense of Self changed with retirement, are also further developed by the present study whereby a more detailed analysis of the process and particulars of the changes in the sense of Self are uncovered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Macaskill, Ann
Thesis advisor - Empson, Janet
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2005.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:20
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 11:49
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19740

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