Chapter

Intersections of health and well-being in women’s lives and relationships at mid-life

Kathryn Backett-Milburn, Laura Airey and Linda McKie

in Families in society

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346438
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302292 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861346438.003.0008
Intersections of health and well-being in women’s lives and relationships at mid-life

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This chapter provides a gendered, lifecourse perspective on health, medicine and well-being. Well-being, it is argued, may be a useful concept through which to challenge conventional boundaries around ageing, health and illness. The chapter focuses on a study of women in their fifties and examines how the boundaries of caring and providing intersect with lifecourse stage, biographical history, and social and familial circumstances. Respondents in the study reported a sense of a freeing up of time for their own interests, challenging traditional boundaries and expectations around women's ageing. However, caring responsibilities across the generations invoke more traditionally gendered roles; ambiguity and ambivalence were present in the women's accounts of this time in their lives. Wider personal relationships were described as important sources of support and knowledge about the ageing process, signifying changing dynamics between family and friends.

Keywords: ageing; illness; biographical history; women's ageing; caring

Chapter.  6299 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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