Research Group on Aging and the Life Course (FALL)

Research: ! Activity patterns


Activity patterns in retirement

Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 1986-1991


In the first stage (1986-1988), the project focussed on men's activity patterns after the transition to retirement (regarding activities outside the family and neighbourhood). It comprises a series of comparative qualitative case studies based on intensive biographical interviews as well as on participant observation. The cases cover the (reduced) continuation of gainful work (self-employed persons and part-time workers), the organized hobby and leisure domain (postcard collectors and "railway freaks") as well as voluntary activity in social domains (e.g. ambulance men) and in political self-organisations (senior council representatives and "Grey Panthers"). The theoretical aim of the project is to assess and elaborate some key propositions on sociation ("Vergesellschaftung") in retirement, and on the contribution of the different activities to the social process.

In the second stage (1989-1991), the project was expanded in three directions: (1) to create a panel through a second round of interviews; (2) to include woman and the activity of caring for kin and neighbours; and (3) to assess the distribution of activities and of attitudes towards them trough a representative mail survey of the 60-69 years old woman and men in a borough of West Berlin.


Prof. Dr. Martin Kohli (Director)
Hans-Jürgen Freter (Researcher)
Manfred Langehennig (Researcher 1986-1988)
Gerhard Simoneit (Researcher 1986-1988)
Stefan Tregel (Researcher 1986-1988)
Silke Roth (Research assitant 1986-1988)
Monika Brune (Researcher 1989-1991)
Betina Hollstein (Research assitant 1989-1991)
Markus Werle (Research assitant 1989-1991)

Main publications

Martin Kohli, Hans-Jürgen Freter, Manfred Langehennig, Silke Roth, Gerhard Simoneit & Stephan Tregel (1993): Engagement im Ruhestand. Rentner zwischen Erwerb, Ehrenamt und Hobby. Opladen: Leske + Budrich.

Martin Kohli, Hans-Jürgen Freter, Betina Hollstein, Silke Roth & Markus Werle (1992): Tätigkeitsformen im Ruhestand - Verbreitung und Bedeutung. Berlin: Freie Universität.

For additional articles see our list of publications.

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