Aims: The growing research on social exclusion in older adults has scarcely applied a life course perspective. This is at odds with the increasing life course focus in ageing research when examining determinants of inequalities such as disparities in material resources, social networks, mental and physical health. This study aims to provide evidence on how a qualitative retrospective method contributes to a dynamic and life course oriented insight in social exclusion.
Methods: 44 life story interviews were conducted with older adults aged 60 and older. The semi-structured interviews were based on McAdam’s life story method (2008). Respondent’s heterogeneity concerning age and gender was guarded.
Findings: Findings demonstrate that life story interviews are a valuable research method to unravel dynamics of social exclusion and to identify life course determinants enhancing or protecting from social exclusion. Furthermore, life stories express which social exclusion dimensions older adults themselves perceive as important in and throughout life. At last, findings are associated with cumulative (dis)advantage theory. Conclusions: Qualitative retrospective research has an exploratory character, which can suggests directions for future research. Future research for instance should not look beyond ‘traditional’ life course factors such as divorce and childbirth when studying disadvantages in later life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication23rd Nordic Congress of Gerontology - Abstracts
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event23rd Nordic Congress of Gerontology - Tampere Hall, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 19 Jun 201622 Feb 2017


Conference23rd Nordic Congress of Gerontology

ID: 28984221