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- The qualitative study also shows that older people can actively shape and mediate their opportunities for mobility and that the strategies developed to overcome barriers become part of their individual abilities for mobility which widen their opportunities for mobility.People make choices according to their preferences within what they perceive as their opportunities for mobility.For the first purpose a theoretical study was carried out, while empirical investigations were conducted to achieve the second and the third purpose. Paper I identifies three dimensions that can be used to clarify key differences between conceptualisations of wellbeing in economics, psychology, sociology, health research, human geography, and gerontology: - Objective and subjective approaches - Hedonic and eudaimonic approaches - Universalist and contextualist approaches The literature reveals multiple approaches to the study of human wellbeing and quality of life.
The conclusions from paper I inform the conceptualization of the linkages between wellbeing and mobility in the empirical part of the thesis (paper II, III, 9 and IV).
In this part, wellbeing is defined in terms of needs fulfilment.
Discussions of wellbeing qua concept are often short (if present at all) and frequently lack theoretical depth.
The second conclusion is that most empirical studies on mobility and wellbeing in later life belong to the subjective approach.
As out-of-home activity participation induces travel between different geographical locations, a theoretical framework was developed to understand mobility, inspired Elster’s understanding of action (Elster, 1989).
This framework assumes a dialectical relationship between agency and structure, in line with scholars such as Berger and Luckman (1966) and Giddens (1984).
The extent to which people experience that their needs for out-of-home activities are not being met is also associated with the level of actual out-of-home activity participation, which is shaped by an individual’s opportunities for mobility in important ways, and outlook on life (overall life satisfaction).
The main conclusion from this thesis is that the extent to which out-of-home activity participation can fulfil needs varies between individuals, depending on their preferences and outlook on life, as well as the interplay between their individual strategies, individual resources and abilities, and contextual conditions. The papers are removed from the thesis due to publisher restrictions. Well-being and Mobility: A Theoretical Framework and Literature Review Focusing on Older People. doi:10.1080/17450101.2013.784542 Paper II Nordbakke, S., 2013. Capabilities for mobility among urban older women: barriers, strategies and options. doi:10.1016/j.jtrangeo.20 Paper III Nordbakke, S., 2013. Mobility in old age: a result of choices within given opportunities.
While the analysis in paper II is based on results from four focus groups of women aged 67 to 89 living in Oslo, Norway’s capital, the studies reported in paper III and IV are based on a national representative survey among 4723 people in Norway age 67 and older.
The results from the qualitative and quantitative examinations can be summarized as follows: Opportunities for mobility, defined as the interplay between individual resources and abilities and contextual conditions for mobility, can to some extent explain variations in needs fulfilment.