Title: Spirituality: a tool for learning, change and adaptation of elderly in changing Indian family

Authors: Shikha Kumari; Alka Sharma

Addresses: Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, A-10, Sector-62, Noida-201309, Uttar Pradesh, India ' Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, A-10, Sector-62, Noida-201309, Uttar Pradesh, India

Abstract: Globalisation as a worldwide integrating force leads to changes in the social structures, values and mindsets of people. Parents raise their children expecting they would take care of them in old age but the globalised economy has given rise to a materialistic culture in which children migrate to other cities or countries. Parents accept this in the best interest of their children. Loneliness, depression and other mental health issues among the elderly population are common as a result. This paper is an attempt to explore spirituality as an adaptive tool in such situation. Data is collected from 20 elderly respondents living alone or with their spouses in the residential colonies in Delhi/NCR through semi-structured interviews. The data is analysed under the premise of Structuration Theory. It has been seen that spirituality is considered as a coping mechanism and a tool to manage their daily lives in a happier and more peaceful way.

Keywords: globalisation; changing family structure; elderly; living alone; structuration theory; meaning of spirituality; spiritual practices; coping with loneliness; case study.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2018.089539

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2018 Vol.10 No.1, pp.33 - 53

Received: 15 Jun 2017
Accepted: 04 Jul 2017

Published online: 22 Jan 2018 *

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