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Leisure activities and retirement: do structures of inequality change in old age?

Scherger, S; Nazroo, J; Higgs, P; (2011) Leisure activities and retirement: do structures of inequality change in old age? AGEING & SOCIETY , 31 (1) 146 - 172. 10.1017/S0144686X10000577. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper, relationships between old age, retirement and social inequalities, as marked by participation in leisure activities, are examined. Two issues are tackled: first, whether old age and particularly the transition into retirement have an effect on participation in three selected activities; and second, whether the social inequalities underlying these activities change with older age and retirement. The empirical investigation uses data from the first two waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), which included variables on having a hobby, being a member of a club, and an index of participation in cultural events (cinema, theatre/opera/classical music performances, museums and galleries). The different socio-economic backgrounds of different age groups explain a considerable part of the observed age differences in these activities. Longitudinal analyses show that respondents tended to continue their activities regardless of changes in work and age, with two exceptions, namely that retirement was positively related to having a hobby, and those who stopped working because of an illness experienced a significant decline in all three of the examined categories of activity. The pattern of continuity also applied to socio-economic differences in patterns of participation in leisure activities. Some indications of slightly growing inequalities with age require further investigation.

Type: Article
Title: Leisure activities and retirement: do structures of inequality change in old age?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X10000577
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X10000577
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010
Keywords: old age, retirement, social inequality, class, leisure activities, participation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1306656
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