Living Alone but Connected: A Case for “Ageing-in-Networks” (76995)

Session Information: Loneliness
Session Chair: Ilze Slabbert

Thursday, 28 March 2024 12:00
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 608
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

The concept “ageing-in-place” implies spatially defined groups of seniors knowing each other in the context of intimate home and neighbourhood settings. By contrast, we propose a more relational definition of community—or “ageing-in-networks”—to corroborate with growing evidence that seniors are navigating social networks that ramify beyond the fixed containers of place. The reality is that seniors’ social networks comprise a variety of ties to family, neighbours, co-workers, friends, and acquaintances to whom they are strongly and weakly tied, and with whom they share a variety of resources. Turning to the much-discussed theme of loneliness, a spatial definition of community assumes—logically but inaccurately—that spatial isolation (i.e., living alone) must mean social isolation (i.e., being alone). However, an “ageing-in-networks” perspective examines living alone as a component of a larger constellation of social relationships. Survey data on seniors between ages 60 and 95 in two Singaporean neighbourhoods—Hougang and Taman Jurong—supports a relational view of community, where seniors who live alone, but who have ties to at least one person outside the household, strong or weak, are less likely to experience feelings of loneliness.

Vincent Chua, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Chen-Chieh Feng, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho, National University of Singapore, Singapore

About the Presenter(s)
Vincent Chua is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, National University of Singapore.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00