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Title: Life of the Middleclass Aged in the Light of Changing Family Relations: A Study in Kolkata
Other Titles: SOCIAL TRENDS Vol. 5 March 2018 p.187-206
Authors: Roy, Sinjini
Keywords: aging
rationalization of family size
dispersal of family members
old-age homes
Issue Date: Mar-2018
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: The present paper explores the life of the middleclass aged in Kolkata metropolis. The life of the aged has been studied in two different locations – in the family setup and in the old-age homes – in a comparative mode. The uniqueness of the study lies in the observation that the kind of life that the aged live depends much on the changing family situations. The composition of the family, the marital status of the aged, the dispersal of the family members and the household arrangements, the health status of the elderly, the kinship and neighbourhood support systems impact the life of the senior citizens significantly. One of the key findings of the study is that the aged women, especially those who have been single, are more vulnerable to take refuge in the old-age homes. Another key finding is that the aged move to old-age homes as the last resort, when the family care system breaks down completely, particularly when they lose their spouses and have broken health. I have found in this study that although the dispersal of the younger members is on the rise the aged take this as a logical and welcome development, although it takes a toll on the conventional care system in the family. I have also found that the stigma that was attached to old-age living is withering and the aged and the larger society have started accepting it as a rational solution to their real-life problems. My study does not support the widely held perception that the middleclass aged are the victims of the growing calculative rationalism and inhumanity in the younger generation.
ISSN: 2348-6538
Appears in Collections:Vol. 05 (March 2018)

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