Doing Age – the Practices of Age(ing) in Everyday Life

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:30-10:20
RC11 Sociology of Aging (host committee)

Language: English

Most recent approaches in the sociological study of ageing approach later life from a social-constructivist perspective, defining ‘age’ not as something that we are, but that we do.  In analogy to ‘doing gender’, the concept of ‘doing age’ (Laz, 1998; Schroeter, 2012) perceives age neither as a biological state nor as an individual trait, a social role or a discursive formation, but as a continual flow of social practices. Other than human behaviour, social practices are concerned embedded, decentralised, incorporated, sub-conscious and routinized qualities of “temporally and spatially dispersed nexus[es] of doings and sayings” (Schatzki, 1996: 89).

Hence, the practices of doing age direct the researcher’s focus to the study of everyday life. Recent studies reach from research on doing health and tele-medicine (cf. Urban, 2016), usage of new technologies (cf. Artner et al., 2017), materialisations of beauty (cf. Hoeppner, 2015), appropriation of space (cf. Wanka, 2016), practices of everyday-mobility (cf. Lambrix, 2016) to ethnographic studies in institutions (cf. Gubrium, 1970; Lowndes & Mueller, 2016). 

For this session, we invite researchers that focus on the manifold doings of age in everyday life contexts and the power structures that they produce. We are looking forward to research that combines a variety of methods, and particularly want to encourage early career researchers.

Session Organizers:
Anna Elisabeth WANKA, Goethe University Frankfurt on the Main, Germany, Vera GALLISTL, Institute for Sociology, Austria and Grit HOEPPNER, University of Muenster, Germany
Oral Presentations
Visualising Public and Private Space in Everyday Life
Wendy MARTIN, Brunel University London, United Kingdom; Katy PILCHER, Aston University, United Kingdom
Distributed Papers
Doing Middle Age: Evidence from Finland and the U.S.
Ilkka PIETILA, University of Tampere, Faculty of Social Sciences, Finland; Neal KING, Virgnia Tech, USA; Hanna OJALA, University of Tampere, Faculty of Social Sciences, Finland
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