Read e-book online Ageing, corporeality and embodiment PDF

By Chris Gilleard, Paul Higgs

ISBN-10: 0857283391

ISBN-13: 9780857283399

This e-book investigates the emergence of a 'new growing older' and its realisation throughout the physique. The paintings explores new different types of embodiment fascinated with identification and care of the self, that have obvious the physique develop into a website for getting old another way - for growing older with no changing into old.

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Example text

The transition to an urban industrialised economy had made pauperisation in later life a problem particularly amongst the deracinated urban working class. The determination of individual agedness needed reliable, impersonal methods which had not been necessary in smaller rural communities whose economy had been dominated by the relations of land ownership and systems of household production. Proposals for state old age pension schemes appeared toward the end of the eighteenth century. Political philosophers such as the Marquis de Condorcet in France and Thomas Paine and Francis Maseres in Britain began making the case for some form of universal pension to support citizens in later life, although the exact ages proposed for these pensions varied from fifty to seventy (Condorcet 1795; Maseres 1792; Paine 1792).

The idea of the masquerade takes on a contradictory form, one that ultimately confirms the negative evaluation of the ageing body, because in adopting these ‘disguising’ practices the older person inadvertently draws attention to the very ageing that is being concealed. In his The Mature Imagination (1999) Biggs does not see the masquerade simply as a process of conscious deception but as a coping strategy enabling the older person to create a degree of internal psychological stability, thereby controlling social expectations about appropriate behaviours.

As chronological age ceased to exercise its monopoly over the organisation and control of resources directed toward ‘old age’, the fears and confusion surrounding its ‘identity’ rendered age a more unstable and contested system of social categorisation and individual distinction. It is not just that other competing sources of identity and other forms of bodily distinction intruded into later life. The body itself became subject to a range of ‘somatic technologies’ whose points of reference outgrew their ‘commoditisation’ within the 1960s’ counter-cultures and sub-cultures.

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Ageing, corporeality and embodiment by Chris Gilleard, Paul Higgs


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