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Social Inequalities and Discrimination

RN01S01

Wed 26. 8.  11:00 - 12:30
room FA 203

Old Age in Poverty

RN01

Sýkorová, Dana
Palacký University, Faculty of Arts, Czech Republic

The paper is connected to the article presented at the 11th ESA conference, i.e. it further develops the issue of “Old Age in Poverty”. It is based on an analysis of data obtained during the second stage of a qualitative research; its objective was to deepen the understanding of seniors’ everyday experience of poverty. It was already found in the previous research stage that a typical part of the life of poor seniors was a housing crisis. Regarding the fact that then data saturated mainly the category of potential homelessness, this time we focused on overt homelessness. It is obvious that significant reduction of financial resources forces seniors to give control over their housing to the others. It is possible to talk of seniors’ endeavour to keep autonomy in this context. When having used their resources, or having significantly reduced the scope of their coping strategies, seniors became totally dependent and control was taken over by the others. Maintaining of human dignity and personal safety gets to the first place. The formal system of social support becomes more and more important in both the cases. Thus, poverty in old age is also viewed from the perspective of helping professionals – the analysis of data from unstructured interviews helped discover specifics or opportunities and limits of solving the situation of (extreme) poverty in old age. The research was embedded in social constructivist paradigm; the analysis was carried out according to the principles of the grounded theory.