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Ageing, insight and wisdomMeaning and practice across the lifecourse$
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Ricca Edmondson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781847425935

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847425935.001.0001

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Lifecourses, insight and meaning

Lifecourses, insight and meaning

(p.27) One Lifecourses, insight and meaning
Ageing, insight and wisdom

Ricca Edmondson

Policy Press

Making meaning is a socially and existentially significant activity. To ignore this opens the way to a view of life, including later life, in which work is the be-all and end-all of human existence, and those lacking paid work are valueless. The chapter therefore explores a range of more constructive approaches among gerontologists to what meaning and insight in later life involve. These gerontologists draw on discourses of religion and spirituality, of developmental or positive psychology, or of social and political crisis. They may stress how morality, and the meaning of the life-course, are constituted in large part by the practices of everyday life – albeit in ways that are responsive to political and economic pressures. Such gerontologists are able to explore the lived experience of meaning, resisting ideologies and stereotypes that obstruct taking meaning seriously for and from older people.

Keywords:   social significance of meaning, ageing, ideologies

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