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    Portraying ageing: its contradictions and paradoxes

    Segal, Lynne (2015) Portraying ageing: its contradictions and paradoxes. Working with Older People 19 (1), pp. 3-11. ISSN 1366-3666.

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    PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the stigma surrounding old age, which in many ways has increased rather than decreased with the ageing of the population. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The approach of this paper is to introduce the reader to recent writing and research surrounding talk of a “demograhic time bomb”, with the ageing of populations world wide. It also looks back on the work on “ageing studies” over the last two decades, revealing the prevailing disavowals of old age among the old themselves, as well as the contrasting gendered dynamics of the ways in which we are, as Margaret Gullette writes, “aged by culture”. FINDINGS: The author introduces the conceptual notion of “temporal vertigo” to the complicated effects of the multiplicity of continuities and discontinuities older people experience when reflecting upon who they are over a lifetime. Ageing is of interest for those who have always been sceptical about any notion of the “true self”, allowing us to puzzle over how the account the old give of themselves will rely upon their ability to incorporate differing versions of the self, woven into the volatilities of memory and fantasy. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The paper's exploration of the radical ambiguities in the representation and discussions surrounding old age in these times.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Longevity, Ageing, Demographic panic, Disavowal, Gender contrasts, Temporal vertigo
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MAMSIE), Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS), Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR), Contemporary Literature, Centre for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2016 13:03
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:25


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