Ageing, Body and Society Study Group

There has been a wealth of work recently on the subject of the body across the humanities and social sciences. Most has, however, focussed on younger, implicitly ┬┤sexier' bodies. Social gerontology has, moreover tended to avoid the subject of the body, in its struggle to assert the social and cultural determinants of ageing, as against the reductionist bio-medical accounts that dominate professional and popular discourses of age. Emphasising the body can seem to demean older people, reducing them to ┬┤failing' bodies. For these reasons gerontology has kept away from the topic. This means, however, that the body in old age has remained largely untheorised and unexplored.

Although work on the body in old age has begun to emerge, it remains scattered. Researchers and scholars are isolated in their disciplinary groupings. There is no obvious forum for exchange. The aim of this study group is to redress this, and establish a forum that will bring together work across a range of approaches and subject areas. We also invite researchers, practitioners and academics to revisit and explore the embodied dimensions of their work.