Renegotiating identity and relationships: Men and women's adjustments to retirement

Jane Parry, Helen Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Retirement is frequently a period of change, when the roles and relationships
associated with individuals’ previous labour market positions are transformed. It
is also a time when personal relationships, including the marital relationship and
relationships with friends and family, come under increased scrutiny and may be
realigned. Many studies of adjustment to retirement focus primarily on individual
motivation ; by contrast, this paper seeks to examine the structure of resources
within which such decisions are framed. The paper examines the contribution
that gender roles and identities make to the overall configuration of resources
available to particular individuals. It draws upon qualitative research conducted
with older people in four contrasting parts of the United Kingdom, and examines
the combination of labour market and non-labour-market activities in which they
are involved prior to state retirement age and as they withdraw from paid work. It
explores how older people invoke various gendered identities to negotiate change
and continuity during this time. The paper argues that gender roles and identities
are central to this process and that the reflexive deployment of gender may rank
alongside financial resources and social capital in its importance to the achievement
of satisfying retirement transitions. Amongst those interviewed, traditional
gendered roles predominated, and these sat less comfortably with retirement for
men than for women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-233
JournalAgeing and Society
Volume24
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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Social Adjustment
Retirement
retirement
gender role
labor market
market position
retirement age
Qualitative Research
social capital
qualitative research
continuity
Marriage
gender
market
resources
time

Cite this

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title = "Renegotiating identity and relationships: Men and women's adjustments to retirement",
abstract = "Retirement is frequently a period of change, when the roles and relationshipsassociated with individuals’ previous labour market positions are transformed. Itis also a time when personal relationships, including the marital relationship andrelationships with friends and family, come under increased scrutiny and may berealigned. Many studies of adjustment to retirement focus primarily on individualmotivation ; by contrast, this paper seeks to examine the structure of resourceswithin which such decisions are framed. The paper examines the contributionthat gender roles and identities make to the overall configuration of resourcesavailable to particular individuals. It draws upon qualitative research conductedwith older people in four contrasting parts of the United Kingdom, and examinesthe combination of labour market and non-labour-market activities in which theyare involved prior to state retirement age and as they withdraw from paid work. Itexplores how older people invoke various gendered identities to negotiate changeand continuity during this time. The paper argues that gender roles and identitiesare central to this process and that the reflexive deployment of gender may rankalongside financial resources and social capital in its importance to the achievementof satisfying retirement transitions. Amongst those interviewed, traditionalgendered roles predominated, and these sat less comfortably with retirement formen than for women.",
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Renegotiating identity and relationships : Men and women's adjustments to retirement. / Parry, Jane; Barnes, Helen.

In: Ageing and Society, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2004, p. 213-233.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

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T2 - Men and women's adjustments to retirement

AU - Parry, Jane

AU - Barnes, Helen

PY - 2004

Y1 - 2004

N2 - Retirement is frequently a period of change, when the roles and relationshipsassociated with individuals’ previous labour market positions are transformed. Itis also a time when personal relationships, including the marital relationship andrelationships with friends and family, come under increased scrutiny and may berealigned. Many studies of adjustment to retirement focus primarily on individualmotivation ; by contrast, this paper seeks to examine the structure of resourceswithin which such decisions are framed. The paper examines the contributionthat gender roles and identities make to the overall configuration of resourcesavailable to particular individuals. It draws upon qualitative research conductedwith older people in four contrasting parts of the United Kingdom, and examinesthe combination of labour market and non-labour-market activities in which theyare involved prior to state retirement age and as they withdraw from paid work. Itexplores how older people invoke various gendered identities to negotiate changeand continuity during this time. The paper argues that gender roles and identitiesare central to this process and that the reflexive deployment of gender may rankalongside financial resources and social capital in its importance to the achievementof satisfying retirement transitions. Amongst those interviewed, traditionalgendered roles predominated, and these sat less comfortably with retirement formen than for women.

AB - Retirement is frequently a period of change, when the roles and relationshipsassociated with individuals’ previous labour market positions are transformed. Itis also a time when personal relationships, including the marital relationship andrelationships with friends and family, come under increased scrutiny and may berealigned. Many studies of adjustment to retirement focus primarily on individualmotivation ; by contrast, this paper seeks to examine the structure of resourceswithin which such decisions are framed. The paper examines the contributionthat gender roles and identities make to the overall configuration of resourcesavailable to particular individuals. It draws upon qualitative research conductedwith older people in four contrasting parts of the United Kingdom, and examinesthe combination of labour market and non-labour-market activities in which theyare involved prior to state retirement age and as they withdraw from paid work. Itexplores how older people invoke various gendered identities to negotiate changeand continuity during this time. The paper argues that gender roles and identitiesare central to this process and that the reflexive deployment of gender may rankalongside financial resources and social capital in its importance to the achievementof satisfying retirement transitions. Amongst those interviewed, traditionalgendered roles predominated, and these sat less comfortably with retirement formen than for women.

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