Ageing in changing community contexts: Cross-border perspectives from rural Ireland and Northern Ireland

Kieran Walsh, Eamon O'Shea, Thomas Scharf, Michael Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ongoing demographic, social, economic and cultural changes point to the dynamic and continually changing contexts of rural areas in Ireland and Northern Ireland. However, the influence of such changes on the lives of older people remains under-explored, particularly the question of how older people perceive, connect to and engage in their communities. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with indigenous and non-indigenous older people in three case-study sites in Ireland, Northern Ireland and a cross-border region, this article presents a comparative analysis of how changing community contexts have shaped the lives of rural-dwelling older people. The analysis focuses on four key areas: economic structure and service access; social relations and social cohesion; meanings and attachments; and community engagement. While the findings demonstrate that some dimensions of participants’ lives were affected by complex economic and social changes, others dimensions were connected in a more significant way to life course and residential history and the desire to maintain community capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Forestry

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