Queering Aging Futures

Friday, 20 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Linn J. SANDBERG, Department of Culture and Education, Södertörn University, Sweden
Barbara MARSHALL, Trent University, Canada
This paper explores the potential for cultural gerontology to extend its ideas of diversity in
aging experiences by opening space to rethink conceptions of successful aging futures. We propose a
‘queering’ of aging futures that disrupts the ways that expectations of a good later life and happy
aging are seen to adhere to some bodies and subjectivities over others. Drawing on feminist,
queer, and crip theories, we build on existing critiques of ‘successful aging’ to interrogate the
assumptions of heteronormativity, able-bodiedness and able-mindedness that shape the dividing
lines between success and failure in aging, and which inform attempts to ‘repair’ damaged futures.
Conclusions suggest that recognizing diversity in successful aging futures is important in shaping
responses to the challenges of aging societies, and presents an opportunity for critical cultural
gerontology to join with its theoretical allies in imagining more inclusive alternatives.