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Ageing selves and everyday life in the north of EnglandYears in the making$
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Cathrine Degnen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719083082

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719083082.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Monitoring the boundaries of age: intra-generational perspectives on ‘old age’

Monitoring the boundaries of age: intra-generational perspectives on ‘old age’

Chapter:
(p.79) 4 Monitoring the boundaries of age: intra-generational perspectives on ‘old age’
Source:
Ageing selves and everyday life in the north of England
Author(s):

Degnen Cathrine

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719083082.003.0004

In this chapter, attention is turned to how the boundaries of ‘old age’ are delineated by older people intra-generationally amongst peers. Chapter Four brings into focus a cultural account of the boundaries surrounding older age as both a social category and as a lived experience. It argues that ‘old age’ is not a frontier whose edges, once breached, are irreversible. Instead, using detailed and rich descriptions from the ethnographic data, it shows the subtle pressures older people in this community put on themselves and on each other whilst they discriminate between ‘normal’ and ‘real’ old age. Of particular consideration are ideals of personal comportment, body talk and interpersonal monitoring for signs of ‘real’ old age. This material permits a closer consideration of the gap between pragmatics and epistemology in the way old age is conceptualised and experienced by older people.

Keywords:   boundaries of old age, intra-generational relations, comportment, body talk, monitoring, experience of old age

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