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Title: Older men learning through religious and political affiliations : case studies from Malta
Authors: Formosa, Marvin
Chetcuti Galea, Roberta
Farrugia-Bonello, Rosette
Keywords: Older people -- Education
Continuing education -- Malta
Gerontology -- Men
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Androgogic Perspectives
Citation: Formosa, M., Chetcuti Galea, R., & Farrugia-Bonello, R. (2014). Older men learning through religious and political affiliations : case studies from Malta. Androgogic Perspectives, 20(3), 57-69.
Abstract: This article examines two case studies from Malta that focus on older men learning through informal channels. The first case study investigated the role of a community-based organisation – namely, a religious confraternity dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Immaculate Conception’ of the village of Mqabba – as an avenue for informal learning activities for older men. The second case study investigated the connection between affiliation in the Labour Party Veterans’ branch of the Labour Party (Malta) and informal learning. The case studies were carried out by employing a qualitative-methodological framework whereby data was collected through semi-structured interviews. The intent was to reveal the perceived interests and expectations regarding what would be considered a satisfying lifestyle in the context of membership of older men in both organisations. Findings reveal the benefits that older men enjoy through participation in such organisations, including increased levels of independence, improved social participation, and positive effects on participants’ self-esteem and personal confidence. Informants report that membership also contributed to their mental and physical health and to increased activity. Many underlined how participation aided them in escaping boredom and keeping in touch with the outside world. Findings also reveal that only a few informants were simultaneously involved in organisations and activities not related to their religious and political affiliations, which highlights the importance of both informal learning channels in helping older men lead successful and active lives
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