Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
On-line version ISSN 1678-7153
VELOZ, Maria Cristina Triguero; NASCIMENTO-SCHULZE, Clélia Maria and CAMARGO, Brigido Vizeu. Social representations of aging. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 1999, vol.12, n.2, pp. 479-501. ISSN 1678-7153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79721999000200015.
The present research investigated the social representations of aging as considered by three different groups of subjects. Thirty seven individuals (older than 52) were interviewed, about the issue of getting old. They belonged to three distinct groups, namely: retired faculty from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, participants of na academic program designed for the elderly, and residents of a nursing home for the elderly. The interviews were of the semidirective type and were tape recorded and literally transcribed. The interviews were analyzed using a software for quantitative analysis of textual data (Alceste). The results pointed to three types of social representations of aging. The first is a domestic representation produced mainly by females, and the central idea is the loss of family bonds. The second is a typically masculine representation, based on the notion of activity, characterizing aging as a loss of working ability. The third representation can be seen as utilitarian, as it regards aging as an impairment of the human machinery. The different social representations of aging were more linked to sex than to the three group categories.
Keywords : Social representations; aging; old age; aged.