Social Anthropology of Aging in a North Connacht Town

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Dr. Michael Joseph Simonton

Asst Professor - Adj A&S Anthropology Adjuncts

This is a longitudinal study of the social anthropology of aging within the context of societal transformation over several decades from the early 1980s to the present. By using the participant observation, life narrative, and life history methods, the researcher has charted the changing self conceptions of his key respondents (or their living family members) within the context of the tremendous upheavals that took Ireland from a third world country in the recessionary 1980s through the boom years of the Celtic Tiger, into recessionary early 2000s. The researcher lived in and repeatedly returned to the town of Ballybradan (a pseudonym) in Northern Connacht to observe how people age individually and societally, and how current self-conceptions may not match up with respondents' personal histories as they are known to the researcher from firsthand longitudinal observation. Further observations on the ethnography of this community also were collected. The results appear in two books by the researcher: 'Ballybradan' and 'Sailing a Lifecourse'.

Project commenced on September 1, 1982

Target Countries

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