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Older people’s activism. Susan Moffat Eurig Scandrett. Aims of research. In what ways does the experience of older people in the Older People’s Advocacy Movement compare with older people who have been active in other social movements?

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older people s activism

Older people’s activism

Susan Moffat

Eurig Scandrett

aims of research
Aims of research
  • In what ways does the experience of older people in the Older People’s Advocacy Movement compare with older people who have been active in other social movements?
  • What contribution to older people’s activism can be made by a dialogue between older activists in social movements and Older People’s Advocacy Movement activists?
social movements
Social movements
  • Communist movement
  • Peace movement
  • Women’s movement
  • Older people’s movement
methods
Methods
  • Recruit activists
  • Prior discussion
  • Semi-structured interview - video
  • DVD back to activists – invite comment
  • Focus group
results
Results
  • Hard to find ‘new’ activists in OPAM
  • Time of starting activism has impact
  • Caring responsibilities more significant than age, especially for women
  • Poverty and lack of resources problem for many older activists
  • Contradictions and creative tensions
what are social movements
What are social movements?
  • Problem for a stable society
    • conservative
  • Corrective for a functioning society
    • pluralist
  • Creators of new culture
    • alternative
  • Salvation of an unjust society
    • revolutionary
tentative conclusions
Tentative conclusions
  • No pattern to whether older activists in social movements become active in older people’s issues
  • No evidence that OPAM is mobilising significant numbers of older people who have not been active before
  • Newly active OPAM activists do not appear to connect older people’s issues with wider political change, unlike other movements
  • Tendency for older activists to be encouraged into ‘volunteering’, rather than policy or social change
  • Opportunities for dialogue between OPAM and social movements around politicisation and issues facing older people