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Time, Story, and Wisdom: Emerging Themes in Narrative Gerontology

  • William L. Randall and Gary M. Kenyon
Abstract

Narrative approaches in the field of aging are receiving increasing attention by theorists and practitioners alike. This article draws on recent thinking in narrative gerontology to look at three aspects of aging on which a narrative perspective can shed further light. In relation to the temporal aspects, the notion of storytime is examined. Concerning its poetical aspects, the article considers the stages, styles, genres, contexts, and selves of self-storying. Under spiritual aspects, the topics of meaning and identity are explored. A discussion of these aspects may be seen to converge on the theme of wisdom and the possibility of wisdom environments.

Les théoriciens et praticiens accordent une attention croissante à l'interprétation narrative du vieillissement. S'inspirant de réflexions récentes sur la « gérontologie narrative », cet article examine trois aspects du vieillissement que la perspective narrative éclaire d'un jour nouveau. Dans l'aspect temporel, d'abord, l'auteur explore la notion de narration dans le temps. Dans l'aspect poétique, ensuite, il décrit les étapes, les styles, les genres, les contextes et le rôle du moi dans la narration personnelle. Dans l'aspect spirituel, enfin, il étudie le sens et l'identité. Le débat entourant ces trois aspects semblent mener vers un thème central, celui de la « sagesse », et suggérer qu'il existe des «milieux propices à la sagesse ».

Copyright
Corresponding author
Requests for offprints should be sent to: / Les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à : William L. Randall, Ed.D., Department of Gerontology, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, NB E3B 5G3. (randall@stu.ca)
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Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
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