Six: The cultures of ageing and later life

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This chapter explores the ways in which belonging and identity are produced and re-produced along what can be called the ethnoscapes of ageing and later life. In this chapter, data from a wide range of studies are used to explore how older people around the world think about ageing and old age and whether new co-ordinates for identities in later life are emerging. The analyses presented in this chapter lend further support to the argument that there has been a radical transformation in the temporal foundations of ageing and late life. The analyses also lend some support to the argument that the shift to late or second modernity has rendered problematic the fixed and stable reference points that people relied on in the past to form their identities and to ‘know their place’.

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