Header zur Marie Jahoda Winter School of Sociology 2018, Grafikerin: Julia Krainer

Grafikerin: Julia Krainer

Doing Age - The Practices of Age and Ageing

Marie Jahoda Winter School of Sociology

November 1-3, 2018

Against the backdrop of demographic ageing, ageing research itself is transforming. While widely used concepts such as models of disengagement and active ageing have been heavily critizied for their “crypto-normativity” (Kolland & Amann, 2014), more recent approaches within a ‘cultural gerontology’ put emphasis on the subjective experience, identity construction and consumption in later life. Theoretically, such studies might approach later life from a practice-theoretical perspective, defining ‘age’ not as something that we are, but that we do.  In analogy to ‘doing gender’ (West & Zimmermann, 1987; Butler, 1991), the concept of ‘doing age’ (Laz, 1998; Schroeter, 2012) perceives age neither as a biological state nor as an individual trait, a social role or a discursive formation, but as a continual flow of socio-material practices. Other than human behaviour, social practices are concerned embedded, decentralised, incorporated, sub-conscious and routinized qualities of “temporally and spatially dispersed nexus[es] of doings and sayings” (Schatzki, 1996: 89). Empirically, practice-theoretical approaches to later life have been concerned with the routinized practices of ageing in everyday life, doing health and tele-medicine, ethnographic studies in institutions as well as the materialities of age and ageing.

In 2018, Marie Jahoda Winter School of Sociology invited young scholars working on topics surrounding age and ageing from a practice-theoretical perspective. The aim of the winter school was to establish an environment for intellectually open debate, exchange of research projects and theoretical frameworks used to empirically investigate the socio-material practices of growing old. The winter school offers seminars and lectures with researchers and experts in the field of ageing studies: Prof. Clary Krekula (Karlstadt Universitet), Prof. Julia Twigg (University of Kent) and Dr. Rosie Day (University of Birmingham).