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Constructing and Deconstructing Ages and Stages of the Life Course
Constructing and Deconstructing Ages and Stages of the Life Course
Background: ordering by age

In this chapter we will be viewing the life course as one of the most powerful vehicles of an age system that is key to the governing, ordering and meaning-making processes of society today. This order asserts the hegemonic dominance of productive and youthful (prime of life, not literally ‘young’) adulthood, establishing an age patriarchy which socially and economically subordinates the other categories of the life course. ‘Adulthood’ is synonymous with power.

Taking up the argument from Chapter 3, we argue that in parallel with the complex range of freedoms and constraints that comprise post-feminism, we can view the age system as similarly ...

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