Self-perception during the Transition to the Fourth Age in the Czech Republic

Par Lucie Galčanová, Marcela Petrová Kafková
Self-perception during the Transition to the Fourth Age in the Czech RepublicAs the overall population ages, a growing number of people reach what has been called fourth age, a period of life that combines advanced age with a certain level of disability and a need for personal assistance. Although some researchers associate the fourth age with “social death” and invoke methodological difficulties in conducting research with this population, this essay offers an alternative interpretation based on the oral narratives of a group of fourth-age participants. Indeed, we found that their reflections concerning this transitional period demonstrated differing degrees of agency and provide insights into the ways in which the older people form and negotiate their self-perceptions and sense of identity.
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