Dr. Denise Copelton:
"The Social Meanings and Functions of Organized Walking for Older Women"

Based on participant-observation of the “Silver Sneakers Walking Club,” a walking group for adults aged 50 and over organized through a local hospital, and interviews with key members, this paper explores the sociability of walking in an organized walking group and contributes to the literature on urban sociability among older adult women. Specifically, I examine the gendered aspects of (1) why individuals first decided to join the walking club (2) why members continue to participate (3) whether or not the walking club fosters significant social relationships or friendships among members, and (4) walkers’ own assessments of the physical and social benefits of participation in the club. Throughout, the social meanings and functions of walking in an organized setting such as the Silver Sneakers club are compared and contrasted with other forms of walking.
Return to: Conference 2005 Program & Schedule: RU Center for Gender Studies
Gender Scholarship at RU: Providing Tools for
Understanding & Change
thursday, march 24th, 2005
heth hall, lounge A & C
12:30 to 6:00