Move or Suffer

September 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

My last article, coauthored with Jodi Halpern, has been published by the Journal of Applied Gerontology.

The title is ”Move or Suffer”: Is Age-Segregation the New Norm for Older Americans Living Alone?

And this is the abstract.

Despite ethical claims that civic societies should foster intergenerational integration, age-segregation is a widespread yet understudied phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to understand the reasons that led community dwelling older Americans to relocate into senior housing. Qualitative data were collected through participant observation and ethnographic interviews with 47 older adults living alone in San Francisco, California. Half of study participants lived in housing for seniors, the other half in conventional housing. Data were analyzed with standard qualitative methods. Findings illuminate the dynamics that favor age-segregation. Senior housing might be cheaper, safer, and offer more socializing opportunities than conventional housing. Yet, tenants of senior housing may also experience isolation, crime, and distress. Findings suggest that rather than individual preference, cultural, political, and economic factors inform the individual decision to relocate into age-segregated settings. Findings also call for an increased awareness on the ethical implications of societies increasingly segregated by age.

Yes, we are becoming more and more segregated by age, in many ways. Our hope is that this article will make the invisible segregation by age much more apparent. Thank you Jodi for joining me.

I dedicate this article to all the older adults living in age segregated settings.



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