Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Douglass St. Christian

Second Advisor

Dr. Kim Clark


This thesis investigates how retirees in the Greater Toronto Area experienced the transition from work to retirement and how they dealt with the changes that they experienced. In particular, this work considers how individuals’ social networks are altered during the process of retirement and how individuals develop new social networks in order to adjust to these alterations. Anthropological methods of inquiry—participant- observation, individual interviews, and focus groups—were used to explore these phenomena. The results of this study reveal how recreational centers for seniors, and the programs offered at these centers, help retirees connect to their peers and their communities and thereby provide them with access to valuable social networks. In addition, this study suggests reasons for incorporating said centers into the alternative healthcare sector. This work and its findings are likely to be of interest to anyone studying the relationships between ageing, retirement, social networks, and/or health.



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