Years in the making

Seeking to better understand what it means to grow older in contemporary Britain from the perspective of older people themselves, this richly detailed ethnographic study engages in debates over selfhood and people’s relationships with time. Based on research conducted in an English former coal mining village, the book focuses on the everyday experiences of older people living there. It explores how the category of old age comes to be assigned and experienced in daily life through multiple registers of interaction. These include ‘memory work’ about people, places and webs of relations in a postindustrial setting that has undergone profound social transformation. Challenging both the notion of a homogenous relationship with time across generations and the idea of a universalised middle-aged self, the author argues that the complex interplay of social, cultural and physical attributes of ageing means that older people can come to occupy a different position in relation to time and to the self than younger people. This account provides fascinating insight into what is at stake for the ageing self in regards to how people come to know, experience and dwell in the world. It describes the ways in which these distinctive forms of temporality and narrativity also come to be used against older people, denigrated socially in some contexts as ‘less-than-fully adult’. This text will be of great interest to researchers and students in anthropology, sociology, human geography and social gerontology working on interests in selfhood, time, memory, the anthropology of Britain and the lived experience of social change.

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Expendable Expendable?

ageing can be represented in modern action cinema. The hypermasculine ageing body of the franchise’s lead actor, iconic action star Sylvester Stallone playing Barney Ross, is the main spectacle of the film series. This is in keeping with the historic critical focus that Stallone’s muscular body has received throughout his film career, as ‘Reviewers have on the whole refused the attempt

in Crank it up

7 Ageing, disability and policy Eamon O’Shea Introduction One in ten Europeans has a disability and that percentage is likely to increase along with the ageing of the population in the coming decades. For e­ xample, there will be more than twice as many people aged 80 years or older in 2050 across OECD countries than there are currently, and their share of the ­population will rise from 4% in 2010 to 10% in 2050 (OECD, 2013). Between one quarter and one half of these people will need help in their daily lives, due to reduced functional and cognitive capabilities

in The economics of disability

IV AGEING, LOSS, RECIDIVISM . . . Domine, refugium . . . I look into my glass, And view my wasting skin, And say, ‘Would God it came to pass My heart had shrunk as thin!’ Thomas Hardy (1898) The crumbling foundations were solid in my childhood. Is this ageing, or something that happens outside time? Temporal? Reincarnated, I can expect another exposure in a different body. Ageing fuels visionary dreariness, but the spots in time are empty. The child is long in the tooth, the curtains are drawn. Marginalise, contain. The Home. The piano. Dancing with hip

in Disclosed poetics
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1 Introduction Ageing and older age present some of the most pressing social and political issues of our time. They have justifiably received extensive scientific attention from both the medical sciences and the social sciences. What often becomes lost in these studies, however, are the everyday experiences of the older people themselves who are at the heart of such enterprise. This book inverts this relationship. It asks instead what can be learned about older age by focusing on the finegrained and multiple ways in which ageing and selfhood are experienced in

in Ageing selves and everyday life in the North of England
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this book towards a conclusion, there are several points I wish to make, some of which stem, in part, from the reflections provoked by the purple 140 Ageing selves and everyday lives in the North of England geranium. The first of these is one that will be familiar to many ethnographers: conducting intensive fieldwork over a period of many months and years comes to intertwine the biography and identity of the ethnographer with that of the people and places she has worked. Sometimes this transformative effect is dialectical, but it is probably fair to say that

in Ageing selves and everyday life in the North of England

the ways in which, the self is continuously produced through social interaction and if discontinuity and rupture inform the self as much as continuity and consistency do (Battaglia, 1995a; Ewing, 1990; Quinn, 2006; Sökefeld, 1999; Strauss, 1997). I argue that these models do not always accommodate the experiences of older people as they do for younger and middle-aged people. So, for example, later in this chapter I discuss the relationship between ‘the remembered self ’ and ‘the inhabited self ’ to illustrate the pressures on the ageing self to negotiate shifting

in Ageing selves and everyday life in the North of England
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People and place

geographical area there is an abundance of names for various parts of the village. These names in turn are shorthand for village knowledge and navigation. Dodworth has a small but well provisioned shopping area on High Street that 28 Ageing selves and everyday lives in the North of England Figure 1 The Crossroads, Dodworth High Street. Map 2 Dodworth and Gilroyd, edged by the M1 on the right. Barnsley is just to the east of the M1 and is largely out of view on this map. Dodworth: people and place 29 houses a general store, the post office and pharmacy, the library, a

in Ageing selves and everyday life in the North of England
Intra-generational perspectiveson ‘old age’

terms exist in everyday English to evoke the wide range of experiences encapsulated in the category of old age, social scientists researching ageing have had to stumble their way through, denoting differences which are believed to exist but whose boundaries are contested and blurred. This uncertainty is reflected in the difficult task faced by researchers delineating the segment of the ageing population they are working with. Some attempts to distinguish different categories of oldness include the ‘old old’ versus the ‘young old’ (Myerhoff, 1984: 307); the ‘disabled

in Ageing selves and everyday life in the North of England
Temporal complexities and memory talk

fleshing out with ethnographic detail the connections between the ageing self, subjectivity and temporality that I sketched in Chapters 1 and 2. In Chapter 1, I outlined key parameters for an approach to the ageing self that takes temporality more fully into account. There I argued that narrativity and temporality figure powerfully in the creation of self, that both are bound up in the ontology of everyday life and in processes of social interaction through which people make meaning and make sense of the world. I drew attention to the possibility that as one’s subjective

in Ageing selves and everyday life in the North of England