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Förändrade intimitetsformer bland äldre i det senmoderna samhället
Stockholms Universitet.
Högskolan i Gävle.
2015 (Swedish)In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 52, no 1, 104 p.5-32 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Changing forms of intimacy among older people in late modern society

The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to a neglected reality in Swedish social research: New romantic relationships in later life. Our theoretical points of departure are the transformation of intimacy and the transition from a culture of marriage to a culture of divorce. We ask if the transformation of intimacy has reached later life and investigate late life divorce, attitudes to and choice of union form in late life heterosexual relationships, relationship history and the importance of a relationship for life satisfaction. The results, which are based both on demographic data and a survey to 60–90 year old Swedes (n=1225), show that changing relationship patterns in late modern Sweden have reached older people. In romantic relationships initiated in later life LAT is the preferred union form, followed by cohabitation, while marriage is a rare choice. In some respects this makes older people an avant-garde in the investigation of alternative union forms. The results also show the importance of romantic relationships for life satisfaction in later life – independent of union form. Finally we criticize Swedish census data, which is based on civil status, for giving a somewhat distorted image of older people’s family and romantic lives. 


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Falun: Sveriges Sociologförbund , 2015. Vol. 52, no 1, 104 p.5-32 p.
Keyword [en]
divorce culture, late modern Sweden, later life, new romantic relationships, older people, transformation of intimacy, union forms
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-17126OAI: diva2:794889

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