Framing Age


CALL: 2012

DOMAIN: SC - Social and Economic Cohesion


LAST NAME: Majerus



HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: public problem, gerontology, old age, social policy

START: 2013-03-01

END: 2016-02-29


Submitted Abstract

Framing Age (FRAMAG)Demographic changes (increasing share of elderly people in the population, longer lifespan …) that occurred during the 20th century propelled the topic of ageing on the centre stage of politics, science and society. With the extension of the welfare state after 1945, a new reality came into being: the “moderner Ruhestand” (Conrad, 1988), a period of life where there is no need to work anymore, but where a certain material comfort is assured.These structural changes have contributed to the emergence of a “public problem” (Gusfield, 1981), summarized in keywords with different meanings: “troisième âge”, “Vergreisung” of “ageism”… Today some scholars as Gerd Göckenjan even speak of an “obsessive” public awareness in European societies (Göckenjan, 2007, p. 125) of a society seemingly ageing. But age is not simply a biological process or an anthropological constancy, but is profoundly shaped by a historical and social context.Framing Age tries to identify an emerging problem, named from the late 1940s in Western societies, and that becomes a political issue from the 1970s by linking it closely to the emergence of medical and psychological knowledge, which provide frames of reference. This genealogical approach is a European research desiderata facing a delay particularly in comparison with the prolific American academic production (Moreira & Palladino, 2009).Framing Age intends to address this “making of a public problem” (Cefaï, 2009) through a triple problematisation:Management of elderly people in a mental institution in Luxembourg in the 19th and 20th centuriesThe birth of knowledge specifically devoted to old age in Western Europe from the 1950sContemporary public policy for the elderly in Luxembourg

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