The meaning of social activism to older adults in Ireland
MetadataShow full item record
This item's downloads: 561 (view details)
Cited 14 times in Scopus (view citations)
Fox, Jackie; Quinn, Sarah (2012) 'The meaning of social activism to older adults in Ireland'. Journal of Occupational Science, 19 (4): 358-370 .
There has been an upsurge of social activism amongst older adults in Ireland, which was particularly evident during the ‘medical card’ protests in Dublin in October 2008. This study used phenomenological interviews to explore the occupational meaning of social activism to seven older adults in Ireland. Social activism was found to be an occupation that firstly, is meaningful, valued and embedded in a wider pattern of leisure and social interests; secondly, develops over a lifetime and is chosen for a multitude of personal, social and political reasons; thirdly, is defined differently by participants, but is unanimously reported to be a vital component of how one sees oneself in the world and finally; is a complex occupation that has many benefits including improved well-being, a more powerful and respected status in society, fulfilment of spiritual goals, development of skills and providing a life of busyness and purpose in retirement. The study contributes to the understanding of the occupational participation of older adults and expands the study of occupation by exploring the meanings, benefits and challenges of social activism for these participants.