The Paradox of 'successful Ageing': The Challenges of Increased Longevity in 'new' Ageing Populations

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 12:30-14:20
RC11 Sociology of Aging (host committee)

Language: English

The cultural and social transformation of later life tests chronological assumptions about ageing and the nature of old age. Alongside growing recognition of population ageing is the lesser recognised but socially important transformation of the life expectancies of groups who historically had limited life expectancy. These groups are disparate in terms of condition or emergence (e.g. those with cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, HIV, Thalidomide survivors) yet share commonalities in the recent rapid extension of life. This session seeks to address the nature and range of these ‘new’ ageing populations in light of sociological thinking. For instance, those with cystic fibrosis, traditionally a fatal childhood condition, now routinely live into their 40s. While this is celebrated, ‘age-related’ conditions including osteoporosis and diabetes are becoming more common. This is just one example of the paradox of successful ageing among ‘new’ ageing populations. Additionally, challenges that life extension poses are not only health related but include what kind of expectations there are of these ageing individuals. Are they always defined through the limits of their clinical condition or are they expected to pursue full economic and social engagement? Are these conditions a disability or a difference? This session addresses the full range of topics that are brought to the fore by increasing life expectancy in ‘new’ ageing populations. These include not only health but also social roles, representations and identities; employment, leisure and retirement; relationships and care; and corporeality and embodiment. We welcome contributions from researchers addressing any aspect of this theme.
Session Organizers:
Karen LOWTON, University of Sussex, United Kingdom and Paul HIGGS, University College London, United Kingdom
Karen LOWTON, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Oral Presentations
Ageing with a Learning Disability: A Critical Literature Review
Christina VICTOR, Brunel University London, United Kingdom; Veronika WILLIAMS, University of Oxford, United Kingdom; Deborah CAIRNS, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom; Sara RYAN, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
The Scandinavian Model of Successful Aging
Håkan JÖNSON, Lund University, School of Social Work, Sweden; Tove HARNETT, Lund University, School of Social Work, Sweden; Annika TAGHIZADEH LARSSON, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Linköping University, Sweden
Cartographies of Homosexual Aging: A Study of "Successful Age Markers" in the Gerontological Literature
João FERREIRA DA SILVA, Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil; Vivian RAMOS MELHADO, Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil
Everyday Reality of Older HIV-Positive Migrants in Germany
Aisha-Nusrat AHMAD, International Psychoanalytic University, Germany
Livable Longevity: Remaking Survivorship in Old Age
Stephen KATZ, Department of Sociology, Trent University, Canada
See more of: RC11 Sociology of Aging
See more of: Research Committees