AGE IDENTITY (Vekova identita)
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The article deals with age as a relevant component of an individual's identity. Its first part gives a brief survey of the theories and theoretical concepts of age identity that is followed by a presentation of outcomes of a qualitative study (GACR 403/06/1647) in its second part. The authoress writes about the subjectively accepted and objectively assigned age identity, personal identity in the process of ageing and the phenomenon of age denial: She shows how individuals relate their age to other components of identity, with what factors they 'condition' their own age identity, on the basis of what criteria and in what contexts they identify the others' age (and vice versa, what criteria and strategies are applied to them by the others), how they interpret age norms. The authoress also deals with the identity 'on the move', i.e. with the changes of relevance of age as a constituent of individual identity in the course of life career, the change of perspective on one's own and the others' age. In relation to this, she points out the strategies of identity maintaining, or the strategies by means of which individuals cope with ageing (the concept of themselves as younger, not-elderly, age distortion, taking over symbols of 'young' life style etc.). The authoress concludes that individuals reflect the individual differences in experiencing age, relativity of evaluation (of age, old age) in relation to both the object and the subject of evaluation and they 'rate' the individual features, abilities and skills above age itself. Nevertheless the importance of age in various contexts of individuals' lives and for their identity is undeniable.
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