Title

The Unbearable Lightness of Retirement: Ritual and Support in a Modem Life Passage

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-1995

Abstract

Participants in a longitudinal study of retirement experienced various forms of frustration and fulfillment in the rituals that were held to mark their transition from workers to retirees. Official workplace ceremonies were relatively ineffective as a formal support system, whereas informal rites created by intimates, and postretirement travel, were more helpful in negotiating this liminal period. The content of rhetoric, the way gifts and guest lists were chosen, and the role of fantasy and physical separation in the ritual process all proved to be key variables. The lightness with which retirement is culturally conceived and the uneven nature of its ritual celebration thus prove to be among its heaviest burdens. © 1995, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

Publication Name

Research on Aging

Volume Number

17

First Page

243

Last Page

259

Issue Number

3

DOI

10.1177/0164027595173001

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