Ageing International

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 11–26 | Cite as

Intimacy and autonomy, gender and ageing: Living apart together

  • Sofie Ghazanfareeon Karlsson
  • Klas Borell


To an increasing extent the ‘young old’ in Sweden are actors in the process of the differentiation of family forms. A distinctive contribution is the establishment of lasting intimate relationships that do not include a shared home, that is, an alternative to marriage and unmarried cohabitation usually covered by the concept of Living Apart Together (LAT-relationships). Living Apart Together can offer older divorcees, widows, and widowers a fulfilling intimate relationship but at the same time ensure the individual a significant degree of autonomy. The study shows that this is of particular importance to women, and that older women play a vital role in establishing and upholding LAT-relationships. By preserving her own household a woman may avoid the asymmetrical distribution of household labor and unequal demands of caring for a partner that she may have experienced in a previous marriage.


Intimate Relationship Family Form Household Labor Joint Ownership Holiday Home 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WorkMid-Sweden UniversityÖstersundSweden

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