Gender and Behaviour

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Gendered experiences of social disengagement among selected professionals in Nigeria and South Africa

Oduaran Akpovire


The study of aging and society with regards to the worthiness and validity or otherwise of the social disengagement theory is controversial and some researchers do not agree with its principles. Some of the critics of this theory have continued to argue that quite often this disengagement is enforced rather than voluntary, and this process tend to “condemn” otherwise active retired adults to withdrawal from society. This paper was informed by the need to thoroughly investigate the validity or other otherwise of the social disengagement theory with regards to how it may be influenced by gender as it is commonly argued that retired male adults may not experience disengament in the same ways as their female counterparts. The qualitative design was adopted as it was deemed the best in attempting to get true meanings of how different genders experience disengagement in Nigeria and South Africa.The findings reveal that both genders in the chosen contexts experience disengagement in almost the same way, and the similarity of the African extended family system as it operates may be held accountable for this observation. Based on this findings, suggestions were made as to how the viable systems may be strengthened so that they can be of more value to Africans.

Keywords: Disengagement, Engagement, Society, Interactions, Support And Transfer

AJOL African Journals Online