Targeted as the ‘grey consumer’, people retiring now participated in the creation of the post-war consumer culture. These consumers have grown older but have not stopped consuming.
Based on extensive analysis over two years, this unique book examines the engagement of older people with consumer society in Britain since the 1960s. It charts the changes in the experience of later life in the UK over the last 50 years, the rise of the ‘individualised consumer citizen’ and what this means for health and social policies.
The book will appeal to students, lecturers, researchers and policy analysts. It will provide material for teaching on undergraduate courses and postgraduate courses in sociology, social policy and social gerontology. It will also have considerable appeal to private industry engaged with older consumers as well as to voluntary and non-governmental organisations addressing ageing in Britain.
This chapter takes a look at the evolution of the ‘third age’ in British society, and traces its growth as a concept and as a social and cultural space. It uses various demographic and historical data, and presents various typologies and periodisations of the ‘third age’. The discussion also studies the ways in which it is expressed and reproduced in different social contexts. Several terms such as ‘generation X’, ‘baby boomers’, and ‘sixties hippies’ are introduced.
evolution of the ‘third age’ in British society, tracing its rise as
a concept and as a social and cultural space. Utilising demographic and historical
data, the chapter presents different typologies and periodisations of the ‘third age’
and explores the ways in which it is expressed and reproduced in different social
contexts. The literature on social change is replete with confusions surrounding
the concepts of cohort, periods, generations and age. Terms such as ‘baby boomers’,
‘sixtieshippies’, ‘generation X’ and the ‘millennial generation’ are often used