Understanding and theorizing the role of culture in the conceptualizations of successful ageing and lifelong learning

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Abstract

Successful aging and lifelong learning are value-laden concepts that are culturally determined. To this effect, people with different value systems and cultural backgrounds may perceive and understand these two concepts differently, resulting in different definitions and conceptualizations by people in diverse cultural contexts. There have been studies of successful aging and lifelong learning that considered what role culture plays in these two constructs separately. However, there is a lack of research studying successful aging and lifelong learning alongside each other, using the same culturally relevant approach to examine the impact of culture on how these two constructs are understood and conceptualized. The aim of this paper is, therefore, two-fold. First, it will examine the concepts of successful aging and lifelong learning and consider the role that culture plays in the understanding of these two constructs. Second, it will present a culturally relevant theoretical framework to theorize and explain older people’s own value systems and the predominant cultural values that have influenced their understandings and conceptualizations of what successful aging and lifelong learning mean to them in old age. Considering and examining the theoretical framework from the perspectives of elders themselves is necessary if we are to understand the ways in which culture shapes the experiences of aging and learning in later life. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-893
JournalEducational Gerontology
Volume40
Issue number12
Early online dateApr 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Citation

Tam, M. (2014). Understanding and theorizing the role of culture in the conceptualizations of successful ageing and lifelong learning. Educational Gerontology, 40(12), 881-893.