Cultural Alienation in the Ageing Person

Daniela Marinova


Older adults are faced with numerous physical, social and psychological changes in their day-to-day life. In addition, they are inundated by a youth-oriented culture that promotes novelty ideas and challenges to our society. In this article, we examine an important issue related to the relationship between cultural changes and older individuals by combining insights from phenomenological studies on cultural alienation with psychological findings on aspects of beliefs and attitudes of the ageing individual. Based on data collected in Bulgaria (N = 39), we found high levels of cultural alienation in individuals reaching old age. Furthermore, comparative analyses across gender groups revealed that both males and females are similar in the degree of reluctance to accepting and understanding the new cultural forms. The findings are discussed in the context of Jean Améry’s (1968) “On Ageing: Revolt and Resignation” and Simone de Beauvoir’s (1970) essay “The Coming of Age” for better understanding the cultural perception in the aged person. The consistency of these findings challenges for further examination of cultural attitudes across different cultures.


cultural perception; aged person; attitude changes; cultural alienation

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ISSN: 2193-7281
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