Schütze, Y., Tesch-Römer, C., & Borchers, C. (1999). Six individual biographies from the Berlin Aging Study. In P. B. Baltes & K. U. Mayer (Eds.), The Berlin Aging Study: Aging from 70 to 100 (pp. 111-128). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Each of the 516 participants in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE) has a unique biography and his or her own way of dealing with the positive and negative aspects of old age. At the same time, subgroups in BASE have also had some "objectively" common experiences. Cohorts have lived through the same historical events and changes in German society and, in old age, subgroups of individuals often have an apparently similar status with regard to some life domains (e.g., marital or financial status). This chapter aims to provide an initial sense of the diverse life trajectories in the biographies of BASE participants that arise from the interplay between common and unique life experiences. Three men and three women were selected for deeper consideration in this chapter because of their above- or below-average status on objective life conditions or because they represented statistically normative cases.