“(Unmet) Needs - A challenging concept and a complex social construction
The contribution of education and learning for older adults’ well-being: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the ESREA network “Research on Education and Learning of Older Adults”
This paper is based on an investigation entitled "Unmet Needs in Portugal - Tradition and emerging trends". Among other objectives, the study in question sought to develop an operative notion of needs, interpreting them as generated by the non-achievement of individual aspirations / expectations, through mismatch between opportunities and capabilities, in a dynamic process between the social context of action and the individual. Of the six case studies conducted within the scope of the research, we extracted the analysis of how two of those groups (adults in transition to retirement and adults in training transition) face the complex relationship that involves the satisfaction of their needs. We chose the first group because it allows us to analyse how these (older) adults live an important period of transition and the consequent recomposition of their needs that this stage of life (the transition to retirement) entails. In the case of adults in training transition, we use the testimonies of this group as an aid to understand how learning processes (at least, formal ones) interfere with the questioning, perception and achievement of the unmet needs. Therefore, a better understanding of the possible centrality of education in contributing to the satisfaction of needs, and its impact on well-being.