A Case Study into the Lived Experience of Older People in the Rural Town of Crail
(2014) A Case Study into the Lived Experience of Older People in the Rural Town of Crail, no. 113.
This exploratory and descriptive study into the lived experience of older people residing in the rural coastal settlement of Crail, East Fife, implements a creative methodological technique that I title 'triangulated ethnography,' which involves the combined application of three ethnographic methodologies: ethnography, auto-ethnography and visual ethnography. The method applied utilises the qualitative techniques of reflexivity, case study, unstructured interview and semi-structured interview in a 'deep-seated' attempt to capture a rich account of the diversity of issues that are central to older Crail residents' lives. Participants provide evidence that there is something distinctive about a 'Crailer' identity and confront the issue of community decline. While participants reveal that tensions exist between Crail locals and retirement-migrants, there seems to be greater acceptance in contemporary Crail of those retirement-migrants who become 'white settlers' (Jedrej and Nuttall 1996), with the key finding that Crail 'colonists' (Gray 2012) possess a false consciousness of living in Crail being problematic for achieving a sense of 'thick' belonging to the town. Finally, self-socialisation in old age provides opportunities for participants to reflect upon the self (Newman and Newman 2009) by practising hobbies and engaging in 'pure sociality' (Morrill et al. 2005; Ries 2009) - except when neighbours and friends visit one another's homes because they do not partake in spontaneous visits to be social for its own function without objectives and actions to fulfil (Ries 2009) - while the concerns that participants raise over local health and wellbeing services lead to targeted recommendations for Crail community development.