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No 13 - 2010

Temporal Experiences of Aging
Directed by Monique Membrado

Temporal Experiences of the Elderly: Different Times?
Monique Membrado

The purpose of this text is to show the individuality of the aging process and how the sociology of aging contributes to the conceptualization of time. We try and see in what way an analysis of the way in which generations at the latter end of life relate to time puts into question the major temporal models and may contribute to a new approach to the sociology of ages. This question, which underlines four of the texts in this number of our review invites the reader to make an at least partial foray into the sociological approaches to time and, more precisely, into social time. The first part is devoted to a critical perspective of sociological approaches to time, while the second is concerned with the temporal experiences of the elderly as seen through sociological theories of aging.

Keywords: time, temporality, sociology of ages, gender, aging

Seeing One's Family Elders Go: The Evidence of Time and the Consistency of Reality
Elsa Ramos

In this article we will try and see the extent to which biographical events, such as the death of one’s grandparents and immediate parents, enter into the experience of aging. Death is a shock that leads the individual to revisit relationships with places, with people and also, more broadly, with the “absolute reality” that makes up his or her daily life. We will, therefore, look at the aging process from the viewpoint of those changes that touch on the family and we will enquire into the place held by the family in this process and into the placing of the individual in an extended time line, that of lineage.

Keywords: family, daily life, temporality, death, aging

Intimate Temporalities: The Home of Old Age
Perla Serfaty-Garzon

In this article we wish to characterize and analyze some of the temporal feminine experiences associated with aging, using as a starting point an examination of the “living at home” notion. The personal tensions that affect relationships from the time one “returns home” appear to be linked to the redefinition of the feminine role and of conjugal relationships. The feeling of the instability of one’s “home” introduces a new and different tension into the whole experience of one’s dwelling. The ongoing linkage between one generation to the next and the care each one takes of the other would appear to constitute a major existential issue of old age. Finally, we look at the opening up of one’s home to others and the changes produced in the meaning of hospitality.

Mots-clés: Woman, home, temporal experience, time, intimacy, aging

Today's Old Ages: Older Women and Their Relationship to Time
Isabelle Marchand, Anne Quéniart, Michèle Charpentier

Despite the emergence of a literature designed to describe contemporary old age, we still know little about the daily lives of elderly women. Once retired, once really old, how do they spend their time? In what manner do they comprehend the temporal warp and woof of aging? This article is built round the relationship of elderly women with time. More especially, we are interested in their social representations of old age and in their understanding of this life cycle. We will also look at the social time that is woven sporadically into these later and final stages of life.

Mots-clés: relationship with time, temporality, women, elderly, aging

Retired Women in France: Between Volunteer Commitment and Family Commitment
Mélissa Petit

The interrogation that is raised throughout this article is that of the personal commitment of retired women aged from 55 to 70, both as volunteers in the public sphere and in the private sphere of family commitment. Using the primary results of our research we will attempt to structure hypotheses as to the place attributed by these woman to their several commitments and the link they can establish between them once retired.

Mots-clés: women, retirement, volunteering, parental commitment, time management, lifecourse

The Role of 'Significant Others' in the Determination of Incapacity of the Elderly Person with Loss of Autonomy from the Professionals' Perspective
Catherine Canuel, Yves Couturier, Marie Beaulieu

Establishing the fact of incapacity is both a legal and a clinical process, overseen by laws and professional standards that establish a requirement to consult with family and those closely connected to the individual whose capacities are being assessed. And yet the role played in this process by those ‘significant others’ has never been studied. The present article discusses the various representations of this role as seen by the professionals involved in the determination of a subject’s incapacity and of the suitability or unsuitability of the significant other to ensure the protection of the person lacking capacity. The way in which professionals perceive those significant others during the process of determining the subject’s incapacity is based on a judgment of the adequacy or inadequacy of the significant other to ensure the protection of the person lacking capacity. These representations are closely linked to the role played by the significant others throughout the process and can be broken down into three typical figures : 1) the contributor significant other; 2) the protector significant other and 3) the problem significant other.

Keywords: assessment, incapacity, significant other, role, social representation

Parental Sensitivity in the Context of Brazilian Family Health Policy
Mara Regina Santos da Silva, Marta Regina Cezar Vaz, Adriane Silva Gaya, Priscila Arruda da Silva

Although there are many studies that bring out the significant role played by parental sensitivity in child development, one finds few primary health care services where such characteristics are actually promoted. The present study, based on Brazilian family health policies, attempts to identify the opportunities made available to stakeholders to promote the parent-child relationship. Our analysis has allowed us to identify certain factors that enter into such promotion: the way in which health teams are made part of community life, their welcome into the community, the links between the various teams, and the principle of primary nursing care.

Mots-clés: parental sensitivity, health care services, parent child relationship, public policy, health

Family and Substance Abuse Treatment in Teenagers: A Case Study
Benoît Gauthier, Karine Bertrand, Pierre Nolin

There is a general consensus as to the importance of involving the family in the rehabilitation treatment of adolescent substance abuse; but there is little documentation as concerns the nature of family influence in this matter. The objective of the present study is to come to a better understanding of how family involvement contributes to the rehabilitation process. The method consists of semi-standardized individual interviews carried out with two youngsters undergoing substance abuse treatment, and with the parents and clinicians monitoring their progress. We have also collected complementary pre- and post-treatment data regarding the seriousness of family difficulties and substance abuse experienced by these two young people. Results. The narratives of these various stakeholders underline the benefits of a constant parental involvement at each stage of the rehabilitation treatment.

Mots-clés: drug abuse, adolescent, family, rehabilitation, change