Constructing a flexible life history calendar for research on vulnerable older persons

Suen Johan

This paper raises methodological issues pertaining to the generation of life history data for the study of ageing and downward social mobility. From a life course perspective, the present circumstances of vulnerable elder individuals need to be understood in relation to specific life events or transitions at earlier phases of their lives. Based on fieldwork with vulnerable older persons in Singapore, the author explains how this could be achieved using a customised life history calendar as a tool for probing and guiding the conduct of semi-structured interviews.

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