Discontinuity and Identity: A Case Study of Social Reintegration among the Aged

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Abstract

This article discusses the dilemma of continuity versus discontinuity in the life of the aged. The contradiction that seems to exist between structural discontinuity and personal continuity may be resolved by suggesting that the need for continuity is neither a universal nor a necessary characteristic of identity formation in the elderly. An ethnographic study of the social reality of an English day center for Jewish residents of an impoverished neighborhood provides a case study wherein discontinuity of ties and past involvements serves as a viable resource in the construction of new identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-489
Number of pages17
JournalResearch on Aging
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1983

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