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Understanding Identity: A Phenomenological Study on the Adaptation and Learning of the Singapore Male in Retirement Open Access

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This phenomenological study aims to understand the identity of the Singapore male in retirement. This qualitative study utilizes William James' (1890) theory of Self and Atchley's (1997) retirement process as a theoretical frame of inquiry. Ten male participants who had been retired for two to eight years were selected, and each participant was interviewed twice. Individual profiles were crafted for each participant and Moustakas' (1994) phenomenological analysis process was used. Eight themes resulted from the phenomenological reduction and thematic analysis process. Using multiple textural and structural descriptions, a synthesis of meanings and essences of the male identity in retirement was obtained.This study offers the following conclusions: (1) environmental forces do lead individuals to entertain the notion of retirement, and to plan their retirement; (2) individuals experience an orderly and predictable routine in retirement; (3) individuals' retirement experience involves moments of self-reflection on the spirituality of life, and they are often conscious of the possibility of termination; (4) individuals see the family as an important extension of themselves; and (5) individuals are conscientious in retirement.The findings and conclusions of this study raise possible research questions, and offers some recommendations for future practice in understanding identity in retirement. One key recommendation for practice is to have pre-retirement programs focus on helping retiring individuals to become conscious of how environmental forces might influence their unconscious response to retirement, so that they may actively re-visit and reflect their assumptions.

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