New PDF release: Ageing, corporeality and embodiment

By Chris Gilleard, Paul Higgs

ISBN-10: 0857283391

ISBN-13: 9780857283399

This booklet investigates the emergence of a 'new aging' and its realisation throughout the physique. The paintings explores new different types of embodiment keen on id and care of the self, that have noticeable the physique turn into a domain for ageing otherwise - for getting old with out turning into old.

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Additional info for Ageing, corporeality and embodiment

Example text

The ‘liquidity’ of society in second modernity is reflected in the instability of embodied identities and the attention given to lifestyle as ‘performance’ or ‘narrative’, embodied forms of knowledge and practice that reflect and reinforce particular ways of being. The problem of viewing ageing as yet another ‘embodied’ identity lies in the perceived limits of its liquidity, and its consequent restrictions as a site for embodied practice. As such it is an unwelcome guest at the carnival of alterities, passed by in the breathless haste of academics keen to discover yet another distinctive or transgressive mode of embodiment.

Still, the decline of the body remains ageing’s central motif. The personal and social importance of ageing rests upon the changing status of the body and the implications that this has for identity, life chances and lifestyles. It is the body that seems to house selfhood and define individuality. Bodily ageing seems to efface the very site where the self is constructed under conditions of youth, fitness and potential, replacing it with the corporeal marks of decline and defeat. While population ageing, ageing as ‘risk’ or ‘vulnerability’ and ageing as status change are important academic preoccupations, it is the ageing of bodies that remains the ineradicable concern of persons, confronting, in their own ageing body, the essential transience of their lives.

16 Ageing, Corporeality and Embodiment not stop at the viewing of the external body, but equally affects the structure and function of the physiological body. The mass media’s fascination with the rise and fall of celebrity lifestyles reflects this. Again as Featherstone writes: Stars and celebrities are constantly scrutinised and quizzed on how they maintain their energy, bodily fitness, good looks and appearance, while coping with challenging work schedules and the social whirl. Each fall from grace to deal with weight problems, alcoholism, drugs, or just the ravages of the celebrity lifestyle, is often followed by a period spent in a health farm, clinic or retreat […] A life which constantly swings between successes and failures, between a beautiful healthy body and an abandoned ill-disciplined body that bears the marks of constant excesses, has a strong mediahuman interest angle.

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Ageing, corporeality and embodiment by Chris Gilleard, Paul Higgs


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