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Title: Positive ageing in an age of neo-liberalism: old wine in new bottles?
Other Titles: The ages of life’: Living and aging in conflict?
Authors: Formosa, Marvin
Keywords: Gerontology -- Education
Population aging
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Berlin: Lit Verlag
Citation: The ages of life’: Living and aging in conflict? Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2013. p. 21-35
Abstract: The discourse of positive aging has become the central plank upon which international and national aging policies are constructed. Moreover, an increasing number of popular writers are advocating positive aging as a means to age actively, successively, and productively. These include authors of self-help books, media personalities, as well as writers from psychology and the social sciences As many gerontologists point out, rationales supporting positive aging convey a common message that later life is a time of opportunity and ‘old age’ a state to be resisted, whilst treating ‘disengagement’ from society or the marginalization of ‘pensioned retirement’ as a moral or personal failing. Such a stance is a sharp turn away from modern visions of aging policy, popular during the 1970s and 1980s, where older people were generally expected to embrace a passive lifestyle wholly dependent upon state welfare policy. One key problem, however, is that rationales advocating positive aging are generally embedded in a neo-liberal ideology that encourages individuals to become ‘entrepreneurs of themselves,’ behaving according to the ideal of economic markets, and choosing the optimal courses of action that maximize their interests. Positive aging thus overlooks how in capitalism the drive of human beings to self-develop tends to be captive to the ideological hegemony of the commoditization of culture. This argument is presented in four sections. Whilst the first part focuses on the genealogy and key tenets of positive aging, the second section presents some international policies advocating the goal of positive aging. The third section provides a constructive critique of positive aging, stressing its neo-liberal bias, and hence, its limitations as a social change program. The final part forwards recommendations that function to improve the democratic credentials of positive aging.
ISBN: 9783837622126
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSoWGer

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