This study explores the phenomenon of legacy as a component of the aging experience among women. Against a backdrop of prior focus on transmission of material possessions as the primary form of legacy, the concept is critically examined in developing an expanded, theoretically and empirically grounded perspective. In-depth interviews with 38 women, ranging in age from 31 to 94 and representing diverse marital, parental, and health statuses, reveal multiple dimensions of leaving a legacy in terms of content, creation, and transmission. Through the stories of the participants in this study, legacy emerges as a means of passing on the essence of one's self, in particular one's values and beliefs. Legacy is a method of leaving something behind after death and making meaning of the end of life. The desire to leave alegacy it manifest in many different ways dependent on the individual and their culture. While the idea of legacy is often couched in terms of material possessions, it appears that passing on values and beliefs is more important to older adults.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Life-span and Life-course Studies