Narrative gerontology – experiences from Denmark and Canada

Arranged and funded by Ensomme Gamles Værn in collaboration with Dansk Gerontologisk Selskab
: Monday May 23, 2016 from 15.00-18.00.
Place: Ensomme Gamles Værn, Fondenes Hus, Otto Mønsteds Gade 5, 3rd.
Participants: Members of Dansk Gerontologisk Selskab (free entrance), non-members 100 kr. 
Tea, coffee, cake and snacks are available.
Registration:Email to Denne e-mail adresse bliver beskyttet mod spambots. Du skal have JavaScript aktiveret for at vise den. no later than May 17, 2016.
Please be sure to include name, position, workplace or organization and mail-address for each participant. Registration on a first-come-first-served basis. We have room for 60 persons.

Welcome and introduction
Christine E. Swane, Director, Ensomme Gamles Værn (moderator)
Storying later life: Concepts and issues in narrative gerontology
Professor William L. Randall, Department of Gerontology and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative, St. Thomas University, New Brunswick, Canada.
Gerontology is a multi-disciplinary field that explores the complexity of ageing from a variety of perspectives: psychological, sociological, biological, etc. The sub-field of "narrative gerontology" is grounded in the conviction that human beings are storytelling creatures, that we make sense of our lives, our relationships, our world, and our aging itself through what are essentially narrative processes. In this presentation, William L. Randall will offer an overview of core concepts in a "storied" approach to the study of ageing. Among these are: narrative identity, narrative development, narrative environment, narrative openness, and narrative care.

Theory and intentions behindTell Stories for Life
Andreas Nikolajsen, MA Psychology, project leader, Tell Stories for Life, Ensomme Gamles Værn
Tell Stories for Lifebrings oral storytelling into social work with older people. Drawing upon narrative gerontology and the narrative therapeutic framework of Michael White,Tell Stories for Lifeaims at structuring and facilitating meaningful conversations about pivotal experiences. Older participants are invited to tell their life stories in a group, guided by a group facilitator who interviews one participant at a time. Stories are told about different themes of life, from childhood home to the loss of loved ones. Both joys and sorrows are shared. The goal is to offer participants a meaningful activity, to reconnect with important experiences, and to do this in a social setting that might cultivate relations amongst participants and thus prevent loneliness.

Narrative methods and life historical perspectives
Anne Leonora Blaakilde, MA Folklore, Ph.D. Ethnology, Senior Researcher
Narrative methods are favorable in studies involving life histories because analyses of narrative structures, narrative content, and artistic, verbal utterances can reveal significant information about past and present in the lives of the persons narrating. Examples are presented from a study of older Danish radio listeners and their experiences of listening to the radio for a lifetime. The narrative methods provide for recognition of the heterogeneity of older radio listeners, who in most media reception studies are either invisible or homogeneously represented.

The guestspeakers' powerpoints can be downloaded below: