Gendered Experiences of Later Life

The experience of later life is often conditioned by ones life course and the events or circumstances which are specific to an individual. Gender plays and important role in ascribing particular social mores and norms to an individual and thereby shaping ones experiences and reactions throughout the life course including in later life.

In this extract Marie Murphy reflects on how men and women may experience ageing differently. She notes that in her experience men can often be more isolated than women in later life and their social life tends to be more oriented around the pub. Through their life course experiences and the operation of gendered social norms women are associated with their homes and thereby the communities. This can often have beneficial effects in later life for women who are more socially integrated around the domestic sphere.

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