The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Renegotiating identity and relationships: men and women’s adjustments to retirement

Barnes, Helen and Parry, Jane (2004) Renegotiating identity and relationships: men and women’s adjustments to retirement Ageing & Society, 24, (2), pp. 213-233. (doi:10.1017/S0144686X0300148X).

Record type: Article


Retirement is frequently a period of change, when the roles and relationships associated with individuals' previous labour market positions are transformed. It is also a time when personal relationships, including the marital relationship and relationships with friends and family, come under increased scrutiny and may be realigned. Many studies of adjustment to retirement focus primarily on individual motivation; by contrast, this paper seeks to examine the structure of resources within which such decisions are framed. The paper examines the contribution that gender roles and identities make to the overall configuration of resources available to particular individuals. It draws upon qualitative research conducted with older people in four contrasting parts of the United Kingdom, and examines the combination of labour market and non-labour-market activities in which they are involved prior to state retirement age and as they withdraw from paid work. It explores how older people invoke various gendered identities to negotiate change and continuity during this time. The paper argues that gender roles and identities are central to this process and that the reflexive deployment of gender may rank alongside financial resources and social capital in its importance to the achievement of satisfying retirement transitions. Amongst those interviewed, traditional gendered roles predominated, and these sat less comfortably with retirement for men than for women.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2 March 2004
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology


Local EPrints ID: 207577
PURE UUID: 6c034ec3-6144-488e-9ae4-fdca5850baa0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Jan 2012 16:45
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:50

Export record



Author: Helen Barnes
Author: Jane Parry

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.