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Ageing, meaning and social structureConnecting critical and humanistic gerontology$
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Jan Baars, Joseph Dohmen, Amanda Grenier, and Chris Phillipson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300908

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300908.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Self-realisation and ageing: a spiritual perspective

Self-realisation and ageing: a spiritual perspective

(p.97) Six Self-realisation and ageing: a spiritual perspective
Ageing, meaning and social structure

Hanne Laceulle

Policy Press

This chapter explores how perspectives on ageing and spirituality can offer promising new roads to study how ageing individuals strive for self-realization and meaning under late modern conditions. The strengths and weaknesses of self-realization as an influential late modern moral ideal in relation to the existential vulnerability inherent to the ageing process are discussed. The chapter argues that when self-realization is connected to views about spiritual development, this creates new insights in the opportunities for meaning and development that can be encountered in conditions of even vulnerable later life. These insights also enable critical reflection on the structural-societal processes influencing the social position and life experiences of older people.

Keywords:   self-realization, spirituality, ageing, meaning, late modernity

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