'We are not as alike, as you think' sense of individuality within the co-twin relationship along the life course

  • Pietilä S
  • Björklund A
  • Bülow P
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Abstract

We have explored how older twins experience and describe themselves in relation to their co-twin. The life stories of 20 older twins were analyzed with narrative analysis.Results showed that the twins described themselves from the point of differences in relation to the co-twin. This was based on experiences of how other people viewed them as alike, as well as on life events along the life course, which contributed to the perception of oneself as an individual in relation to the co-twin. The emphasis on unlikeness was therefore interpreted as a way of trying to establish a position as an individual within the co-twin relationship and to assert ones individuality to the rest of the social environment. To claim oneself as an individual was an ongoing identity work along the life course. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aging
  • Identity
  • Individuality
  • Life stories
  • Twins

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Authors

  • Sirpa Pietilä

  • Anita Björklund

  • Pia Bülow

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