“With great rigour, yet an enviable lightness of touch, Susan Pickard has written an engaging and accessible book that students will love.” – Rosaline Gill, City University London “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.” – Stephen Katz, Trent University Age Studies takes an invigorating approach to the study of age and ageing in contemporary society. Encompassing ageing throughout the life course, taking in childhood, adolescence, mid-life and older age, and situated explicitly within a sociological disciplinary framework, Age Studies:  • Explores current social science debates on the study of ageing linking these to core sociological concepts.  • Links theory and application, using a variety of examples and international case studies  • Includes chapter summaries, further reading and guided questions. A thought-provoking companion to advanced undergraduates and postgraduate student studying ageing, older people, social gerontology and related courses.

Constructing and Deconstructing Ages and Stages of the Life Course

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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