Ageing and Diversity: Multiple Pathways and Cultural Migrations

Ageing and Diversity: Multiple Pathways and Cultural Migrations

Ageing and Diversity: Multiple Pathways and Cultural Migrations

Ageing and Diversity: Multiple Pathways and Cultural Migrations

Synopsis

To understand contemporary ageing it is necessary to recognise its diversity. Drawing on an extraordinary range of theory, original research and empirical sources, this book assesses the stereotyped conceptions of ageing, and offers a critical and updated perspective.The book explores the diversity of individual pathways of ageing, the sources of identifications, migration and otherness, and the tension between social structures and personal agency; considers multidisciplinary and international perspectives as an important means of understanding the diversity of ageing, and the need for change in established notions and policies; addresses key issues such as global ageing, migration, transnational community and citizenship; incorporates theories and findings from psychology and sociology, anthropology and demography, social policy and health sciences. 'Ageing and diversity' is aimed at academics, students and practitioners in the fields of sociology, social psychology, health, and welfare. It will also be of interest to all those who want to challenge stereotypes about ageing.

Excerpt

Simon Biggs and Svein Olav Daatland

What does it mean to grow old under contemporary social conditions? What are the possibilities for diversity of culture, lifestyle and experience? What are the constraints placed upon us as we grow older and how are they negotiated?

This volume critically assesses notions of adult ageing as they affect older people’s lives and their social and personal identities. Drawing on a wide range of theory, original research and empirical sources, the contributors to this volume examine the idea that to understand contemporary ageing it is necessary to recognise its diversity. To begin with, individual pathways are examined; then some of the social sources of identification available to adult ageing. Next, the key questions of global ageing, migration, transnational community and citizenship are used to sharpen key issues that are increasingly influencing contemporary ageing. Finally, we examine the tension between social structures and the possibilities for personal and social agency. In an increasingly complex world, multidisciplinary and international perspectives are an important means of capturing diversity.

Ageing and diversity

That there are more older adults around than at any other time in history is now well known. It is less well understood that, as the population ages, it becomes more diverse. In part, this is because individuals have had time to develop a more integrated and particular sense of self; in other words, who they believe themselves to be. Additionally, we are exposed to many more cultural pathways than preceding generations, making life appear richer and with substantially more options than has traditionally been the case. Diversity is also a consequence, however, of cumulative inequalities that have been accrued across a lifetime and now accentuate difference in later life. Each of these trends contributes to a widening variety of experiences of ageing in contemporary societies – for good and for bad.

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