Analogy or Co-Construction? Intersectional Perspectives on “Doing Age” and “Doing Gender”

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Anna RICHTER, University Kassel, Germany
The concept of “doing age” has been developed in analogy to “doing gender”. From an intersectional perspective it becomes apparent, that age and gender have not only similarities (and maybe differences) in the mode they are constructed on the level of everyday practices, they are also constructed simultaneously and interact in a dynamic and complex way. In this regard they can be understood as inseparably interwoven.

In my recently finished qualitative research project, I focus on the intersection of old age, gender and East German belonging, using biographic narrations to examine the modes of constructing differences and the ways of their intersection. In narrative practices people do not only construct differences but also do re- and devaluations of these different positions, in regard to social norms and structures. According to theories of recognition, this valuations can be understood as powerful structures, generating social esteem and integration on the one hand, devaluation and exclusion on the other.

In my presentation I will first ask, how far the analogy of doing age and doing gender reaches and which differences must be considered. Using the results of my research, I will show how the modes of “doing age” and “doing gender” differ in narrative practices. This should help to clear the potentials and limits of the analogy between age and gender. Second, I will show how the interaction of old age and gender as well as the co-construction of old age and East German belonging appear in the biographic narrations, how this affect the doing of age and what it means to the valuations given to the different positions.