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Lessenich, Stephan; Ekerdt, David J.; Münch, Anne; Koss, Catheryn; Li, Angel Yee-lam; Fung, Helene H. (2018): The dog that didn't bark: The challenge of cross-cultural qualitative research on aging. In: Journal of Aging Studies, Vol. 47: pp. 66-71
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Abstract

The paper addresses the problem of cultural proximity in qualitative cross-cultural research on aging, presenting insights into a methodology of systematic 'estrangement'. Based on interdisciplinary research on the social time orientations of elderly people in Germany, Hong Kong, and the US, we discuss the question of how shared identities and taken-for-granted assumptions may bias the findings in comparative aging studies. With Alfred Schfitz's phenomenological concept of 'lifeworld' as a methodological device, we focus on the issue of the diverging 'systems of relevance' that each of the national project teams obviously referred to when gathering and interpreting the data. The paper suggests that, by way of organizing an interactive research setting that is open for the reciprocity of perspectives, one of the major problems for cross-cultural research on aging may be overcome or at least mitigated.