Stories of opportunity, challenges, and hardship in Irish men aged 65 and over

Prof Doc Thesis

Cork, C. 2022. Stories of opportunity, challenges, and hardship in Irish men aged 65 and over. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsCork, C.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

There is a long and complex history of migration from Ireland to Britain. However both the impact of migration and dislocation, and the reasons for leaving Ireland mean that this population in Britain require a specific focus as a group in terms of mental health and wellbeing. The aging male population in particular experience a greater burden of socioeconomic and health issues compared to those born in Britain, and experience higher levels of mental health issues. There is currently a gap in the research in terms of eliciting personal accounts from this population and examining this through a psychological or mental health lens.

Five semi-structured interviews were carried out with older Irish men living in London, recruited through an organisation that supports this population. Interviews were analysed using thematic and performative narrative analysis.

Findings suggested that these men storied their experiences in unique ways according to their personal, social, and cultural contexts. The narrative accounts explored demonstrate a focus on stories around work, labour, masculinity, place in the community, bodies and disabilities, and migration and home. The performative analysis applied to the interviews illuminates the multiple and dynamic ways in which participants story their lives and identities.

These findings were discussed in relation to relevant literature on mental health, general health, and community. The findings were also discussed in terms of their implications for and applications to the field of clinical psychology and the therapeutic encounter in general.

KeywordsMental health; Irish; Ethnicity; Narrative; Migration; Older; Aging; Men; Masculinity
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online09 Aug 2023
Publication process dates
Completed25 Oct 2022
Deposited09 Aug 2023
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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