AGING STUDIES SERIES
Series Editors: Ulla Kriebernegg, Heike Hartung and Roberta Maierhofer
Living and aging as a productive antagonism. Aging and growing older are processes which cannot be reduced to the chronology of years but which are shaped by the individual's interaction with the changing circumstances of life.
Alive and Kicking at All Ages: Health, Life Expectancy, and Life Course Identity
(published in 2014)
Ulla Kriebernegg, Roberta Maierhofer and Barbara Ratzenböck (Eds.)
Similar to the issue of health that can both be literal and metaphorical, personal and public, human and environmental, age and aging are concepts that are understood according to time, circumstances and disciplinary approach. In this volume, we are asking for papers that investigate the topic of health within the matrix of time and experience. This cultural ambiguity of aging enables an analysis of social functions of images as a basis for interdisciplinary exchange.
Contributions focus on the relationship between living and aging as a productive antagonism, which focus on the interplay between continuity and change as a marker of life course identity:
• What role that does the notion of health play in this interaction?
• How does our understanding of health influence our notion of agency within a subversive deconstruction of normative age concepts?
• How can negative images of old age as physical decrepitude and disease be deconstructed?
• Depictions of appreciation of life even in the oldest age as form of "successful frailty".
Further Information: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2582-0/alive-and-kicking-at-all-ages
Vol. IV: Aged Young Adults: Age Readings of Contemporary American Novels and Films
(published in 2014)
When Toula's father in »My Big Fat Greek Wedding« says to his daughter (age 30) »you look so old« or when Don DeLillo's protagonist (age 28) »feels old« in »Cosmopolis«, these young characters are attributed an age awareness that has received little attention in age studies so far. Leaving aside chronological or biological dimensions of age, this study approaches age as a metaphoric practice, suggesting that »feeling old« is not to be taken literally but metaphorically. The book examines the cultural meanings of age and aging and challenges often-quoted labels such as late-coming-of-age story or perpetual adolescence.
Further Information: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2483-0/aged-young-adults?c=856
Volume III: “The Ages of Life”: Living and Aging in Conflict?
(published in 2013)
Ulla Kriebernegg and Roberta Maierhofer (Eds.)
Since antiquity the concept of the ages of life has been related to changing iconographies and representations. These range from Ptolemy's cosmology of the seven ages of life and Galenic medicine's four elements to the ladder of years, which has identified the ages of life with social roles during the eighteenth century. In contemporary Western societies the ages of life have, on the one hand, been redefined as the biography of the individual subject. On the other hand, the category of “youth” has continually been displaced toward the end of the life course, turning living and aging into apparently conflicting processes.
The binary construction of “young” and “old”, which is based on a biogerontological model of aging as decline, can be redefined as the ambiguity of aging from a cultural studies perspective. This cultural ambiguity of aging enables an analysis of the social functions of images of aging in order to provide a basis for interdisciplinary exchange on gerontological knowledge. Such forms of analysis make visible the contradictions between images of positive or “successful aging” in marketing, which target the affluent and healthy 'young old' and may serve as meaningful and empowering for those addressed, while they can also exclude and stigmatize those of the 'oldest old' who face the realities of illness in old age. By contrast, it is also possible to deconstruct apparently negative images of old age as physical decrepitude and disease by focusing on the possibilities of appreciating life even in the oldest age as a form of “successful frailty”. The chapters in this yearbook conceive the relationship between living and aging as a productive antagonism, which focuses on the interplay between continuity and change as a marker of life course identity. Aging and growing older are processes which cannot be reduced to the chronology of years but which are shaped by the individual's interaction with the changing circumstances of life. To the degree that it enables agency, living and aging make possible the subversive deconstruction of normative age concepts.
Further information: http://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2212-6/the-ages-of-life?c=856
Volume II: Aging, Performance, and Stardom: Doing Age on the Stage of Consumerist Culture
(published in 2012)
Aagje Swinnen and John A Stotesbury (Eds.)
In aging studies, age, like other salient markers of identity, is defined not in terms of being but of doing. One adjusts automatically to the implicit norms of age-appropriate behavior that structure everyday life. In Western culture, these norms install a hierarchical dichotomy between the young and the old – the latter still getting the worst of it.
This second volume in the Aging Studies in Europe series focuses on questions concerning the ways in which actors and socialites perform aging on the stage of consumerist culture. How do celebrities, whose star personae are ultimately connected with the prime of their lives, cope with the aging process? Which public practices invite subtle adjustment of age scripts that focus on the decline of physical strength and attractiveness as the years pass?
Further information: http://www.lit-verlag.de/isbn/3-643-90176-7
Volume I: Narratives of Life: Mediating Age
(published in 2008)
Heike Hartung and Roberta Maierhofer (Eds.)
Narratives of Life: Mediating Age. The prospect of increasing longevity has turned aging and old age into a topic of concern in Western societies. The discourse of age and the proliferation of narrative in contemporary media culture both transgress disciplinary boundaries. Addressing the "narratives of life" from different disciplinary angles this volume aims to explore the scope of a narrative gerontology. Aging and the stories that are told about it or from within are transnational and transcultural phenomena. While aging is thus a universal process, attention is also drawn to the categories of difference that it evokes: Historical, social and cultural differences as well as gender differences.
Further information: http://www.lit-verlag.de/isbn/3-8258-1229-4