Subjective Meanings and Identification With Middle Age

Subjective Meanings and Identification With Middle Age The “middle-age” life period has not been researched extensively and lacks a theoretical conceptualization. The present study explores subjective experiences of members of this age-group. This is a qualitative research, based on in-depth interviews and thematic analysis, which looks into the life stories of 25 Israeli residents aged 48–64 years. The results indicate that the definition of middle age is not clear-cut, and some participants regard their age negatively. Yet, participants report that this period is characterized by a relief of tasks, broader choice opportunity, a sense of liberation, peace of mind, experience, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. Description of middle age as a peak in life, with concerns about future old age, came up repeatedly. Middle-aged individuals‘ difficulties to identify with their age-group and the social concept that dichotomizes age into young versus old are discussed. The article calls for further research of and engagement with middle age. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The International Journal of Aging and Human Development SAGE

Subjective Meanings and Identification With Middle Age

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2017
ISSN
0091-4150
eISSN
1541-3535
D.O.I.
10.1177/0091415017721932
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The “middle-age” life period has not been researched extensively and lacks a theoretical conceptualization. The present study explores subjective experiences of members of this age-group. This is a qualitative research, based on in-depth interviews and thematic analysis, which looks into the life stories of 25 Israeli residents aged 48–64 years. The results indicate that the definition of middle age is not clear-cut, and some participants regard their age negatively. Yet, participants report that this period is characterized by a relief of tasks, broader choice opportunity, a sense of liberation, peace of mind, experience, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. Description of middle age as a peak in life, with concerns about future old age, came up repeatedly. Middle-aged individuals‘ difficulties to identify with their age-group and the social concept that dichotomizes age into young versus old are discussed. The article calls for further research of and engagement with middle age.

Journal

The International Journal of Aging and Human DevelopmentSAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2018

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