Seminar 13: Growing Old Old age is defined differently in every culture. It is not merely the final stage if life, uncomplicated and universally experienced. It has different meanings for different people and ‘the’ elderly are a very heterogeneous group. Key factors like gender, family position, and social and economic status determine how soon an individual would be seen as ‘old’, as of course did the more obvious factor of chronological age. In this seminar we will examine these variations within the experience of old age on the one hand, while also investigating how the construction of old age is also particular to a time and place. Seminar/Essay Questions:
- How is old age gendered?
- What difference did the establishment of state pensions make to the experience of old age?
- Why has old age acquired such prominence as a distinct social problem in the twentieth century?