Age Studies: A Sociological Examination of How We Age and are Aged through the Life Course


Susan Pickard

  • Citations
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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright


    ‘This is a wonderful book which enriches the growing field of cultural studies of ageing, and brings to it a fresh, intersectional focus, and plenty of vivid contemporary examples. With great rigour, yet an enviable lightness of touch, Susan Pickard has written an engaging and accessible book that students will love.’

    Rosalind Gill, City University London

    ‘Susan Pickard’s Age Studies is a scholarly tour de force that brings into focus the various disciplines, histories, literatures and knowledges that have transformed us into modern subjects of age. Each chapter is an exciting discovery of the paths by which the social has coursed through our lives in the most intricate and intimate ways.’

    Stephen Katz, Trent University

    ‘Powerful use of text and images to engage students with key concepts and aims of the book.’

    Irene Hardill, Northumbria University

    ‘Susan Pickard’s approach to age studies is comprehensive and compelling, writing about concepts of class and gender, the body and culture. This is no dry account of ageing. Each chapter includes questions for the reader to consider, and chapter summaries make the book accessible to students. Pickard has a beautifully clear writing style. She introduces us to the Hag, to media images, her own experiences, and how we can tell our own stories about ageing. Pickard’s book is an invaluable addition to the shelf of any researcher or student of sociology and related fields.’

    Samantha Holland, Leeds Becket University

    ‘Susan Pickard is breathing life of cultural studies in aging studies which is to be applauded. It is an excellent, thought provoking and timely text.’

    Jason Powell, University of Chester

    About the Author

    Susan Pickard is Reader in Sociology at the University of Liverpool and before this held posts at Salford, Birmingham and Manchester Universities. Her research has been published in a variety of journals including Sociology, Ageing and Society, Sociology of Health and Illness, Social Science and Medicine and Biosocieties, among others. Age Studies will be followed up by a monograph, The Girl in Time, to be published by Routledge.


    Many people have helped in the gestation of this book over the years, ranging from sympathetic editors of journals, to colleagues at home and abroad, to scholars, living and dead, whom I have never met. However, I owe a particular debt of gratitude to the following people. Firstly, thanks to my colleagues at Liverpool for providing a wonderful atmosphere in which I was able to develop the research that went into this book and of whom Paul Jones was kind enough to read and comment on an earlier draft of the manuscript; also to the students who enrolled on my Age Studies module over the past three years and whose feedback helped enormously with the writing of these chapters. I also thank friends and colleagues outside of Liverpool, especially Toni Calasanti and Neal King, for providing me both with a warm and welcoming haven and writing space in their beautiful home at the foothills of the Appalachians, during my time at Virginia Tech in 2014, as well as with endless inspiration. Paul Higgs and Stephen Katz have also been very generous in their advice and encouragement during my work in this field. Thanks to the British Academy and to the Leverhulme Trust for providing research grants which made this work possible. At SAGE, I thank Delayna Spencer for invaluable editorial advice and a sensitive and sympathetic eye throughout the production of this book. I would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers who gave such brilliant and thoughtful feedback. At home, thanks to Reynard for his support and for his infectious can-do optimism which blew away the dark clouds of my own pessimism, and especially my mother, Isabel Martinez Pickard, whose talent lies in the art of ageing well, which is to say the art of living and to whom I dedicate this book.

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