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Revista Subjetividades

Print version ISSN 2359-0769On-line version ISSN 2359-0777


SOUSA, Jenny Gil  and  BAPTISTA, Maria Manuel. Idleness and culture in identity (re)construction of institutionalized elderly. Rev. Subj. [online]. 2015, vol.15, n.2, pp. 275-286. ISSN 2359-0769.

Old age is a stage of life marked by multiple symbolic and / or concrete losses, although they are ineluctable and part of a life cycle, they are for the subject that live them, painful experiences, which require an adjustment to the new reality, namely, to new forms of existing. This problem, which plays quite deeply symbolic dimensions of everyday praxis of individuals living in residential structures is reflected in particular in the (re) construction of the subject's identity. In these specific contexts, social and cultural practices, while potentiating key dimensions of idleness time, taking a notorious importance in the way is made to adapt to loss and the self (re) construction is performed. Based on these assumptions, this article is structured in two main parts: in the first part, we will make a theoretical framework, analyzing contemporary old age under different points of structure, but interrelated, which will be given special attention to the social and cultural dimensions of this phenomenon; An approach to mourning, will be also carried out analyzing it as a development task, highlighting the relationship between the cultural context and adaptation practices to loss. Finally, we will study the relationship between idleness, culture and temporality in the development of institutionalized elderly. In the second part, we will discuss the results of a qualitative and exploratory research conducted by us with institutionalized elderly in Portugal. Thus, through the use of life stories, we see representations of the study participants regarding the influence that cultural activities, when transformed into entertainment experiences, hold in adapting to profound emotional loss and the identity (re) construction especially in specific contexts of institutionalization.

Keywords : old age; institutionalization; loss; leisure; culture.

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