Agents of Their Own Well-Being: Older Women and Memory-Work


  • Jenny Onyx
  • Carol Wexler
  • Trees McCormick
  • Diane Nicholson
  • Trina Supit


The paper adopts the qualitative feminist method of Memory-Work in order to explore our collective experience of ageing after retirement. Following Freire (1970) we argue for a humanizing pedagogy wherein we control our own learning. We specifically argue for the voice of older women as agents of their own well-being. Over several years we documented our learning journey using memory triggers (such as: Who am I, now that I am over 65?; Body maintenance; Fears; Being connected; Taking up a new challenge). What we found challenges the current script of ageing and social control that defines and limits who older women can be. For us, growing old is a privilege, full of richness. We reject the contemporary medical model of ageing in favor of a more nuanced model of both loss but also of personal growth in a changing landscape.





Peer Reviewed Articles