Doing memory work with older men: the practicalities, the process, the potential

Vic Blake, Jeffery Hearn, Randy Barber, David Jackson, Richard Johnson, Zbyszek Luczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to describe the process of setting up and participating in a collective memory work group of older men, with a focus on the making and unmaking of older men and masculinities through age, ageing, gender, gendering, and other intersections.

Design/methodology/approach
Participant review and reflection on collective of memory work group of older men.

Findings
Memory work is located in relation to related but different forms of writing and group work, emphasizing how in this method everyone becomes a writer, an author, a listener, a reader, a discussant, and a commentator. This provides a novel way to explore the constructions and intersections of ageing, gender, men, and masculinities.

Social implications
The potential of memory work, both for working with older men, and more generally is outlined. Key issues are: genuine and collective commitment to substantive change, not just at a personal level, but also at wider social/political/cultural levels; willingness to trust in the other members of the group, an issue that may be difficult for some men; and commitment for caring for one another especially in their moments of greatest vulnerability.

Originality/value
There is little, if any, other writing on this approach to ageing, men, and masculinities. The paper is therefore of great value, and may stimulate wider application of this approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalWorking with Older People
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2016

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