By Graham D. Rowles
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Additional resources for Aging and Milieu. Environmental Perspectives on Growing Old
OBJECTIVE AND SUBJECTIVE ASPECTS O F ACTIVITY Objective Activity The objective aspects of activity are best portrayed in time-budget data, where the samples of time are totally accounted for in terms of the durations of specific behaviors and the contexts where they occur (Chapin, 1974). Why do time-budget studies? The rationale may not be obvious, since "activity" may also be called "behavior," a topic that has not been underresearched. Let us think of activities as the components of behavior—what happens from minute to minute.
As is obvious, I use these concepts more loosely than many do, for the purpose of contrast among processes rather than for precision of definition of a single process. I hope to discover the interior experiences that accompany the social processes of different ages, and thus to come closer to understanding why a mile has proven such an obstacle to so close a friendship. Let me preview and summarize the transformations in the three relational modes that occur as we look across the life cycle. Narcissism is first seen in infancy as primary infantile narcissism, reborn at adolescence as the adolescent's sense of omnipotentiality, reinvested in adulthood as one's child becomes the narcissistic extension of the self, finally reap- 32 Nancy Datan ρ earing in old age in subdued form as the preoccupations of the life review.
Leland was 83; my daughters were 13 and 11; my son was 8; our dog was 15; I was 3 5 . Human development took my daughters into adolescence and away from their daily visits to Leland; old age took our dog away from all of us; the university routine brought me home in the evenings too weary for visits to a friend who was no longer next door. There seemed no way to recreate the casual intimacy we had taken for granted, so much deeper than the friendship of neighbors, but, it turned out, so completely dependent upon our proximity.