In this multidisciplinary portrait of men and their concerns in later life, the contributors use both a life course and gendered perspective to point out that the image and self-image of men are continually reconstructed throughout the life cycle. Issues examined include: the position of older men in society and the changes wrought in their status and roles over time; men's relationships to spouse, children, grandchildren and friends; and policy implications.

Masculine Identity from Work to Retirement

Masculine Identity from Work to Retirement

Masculine identity from work to retirement
Theodore J.Gradman

Work and career dominate a man's identity, leaving him unprepared for the realities of retirement. Retirement is often perceived as a vague and distant goal and a reward for years of hard labor. Men sometimes plan for its financial impact but rarely acknowledge its psychological impact. Retirement results in the loss of colleagues and social support (Ochberg, 1987), loss of opportunities to feel competitive and independent (Weiss, 1990), loss of an arena to risk failure and feel accomplished (Filene, 1981; Willing, 1989), and loss of income. In these ways, retirement threatens a man's sense of masculinity. Many men do not realize this until they decide to retire.

The perceived threat to masculine identity marks ...

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