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Gerontopedagogicalization: a critical approach to performAGE in later life

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This article introduces a new perspective on the understanding of the process of becoming an ag(e)-ing self in contemporary aging societies. The use of age categorizations differs in time, place and situation and today we have to consider that aging is about learning to be or become old through re-engaging in later life as a process of biographicity understood as the poetics of growing old. The value of aging and old age in contemporary aging societies is constituted in relation to the interpretations of “Population Aging” as a social problem that calls for social pedagogical interventions. The norms of aging and old age are changing in today‟s and tomorrow‟s societies due to demographic changes in favour of a pedagogicalization of society focusing on the management of human resources throughout the entire lifespan. Biographicity is a way to articulate the personal resources in order to become in order by taking up, ignoring or resisting the social category “active aging” offered in contemporary aging societies and making it „my own‟ – learning to live with and by social categories of aging and old age. Gerontopedagogicalization is about developing a biographical competence to reflect upon the consumption of social categories of aging, a competence that makes it possible to understand how our selves make sense of the stories that our lives become and how our lives become stories that makes sense to the selves as the lives we live by in contemporary old age. It is within the processes of categorization that establishes social life as a social arena within which the issues of social problems are to be debated, that needs theoretical reflection: in this case a reflection on gerontopedagogicalization as performAGE in later life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial pedagogy for the entire lifespan
EditorsJacob Kornbeck, Niels Rosendal Jensen
Number of pages24
Place of publicationBremen
PublisherEuropäischer Hochschulverlag
Publication year2012
ISBN (print)978-3-86741-742-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
SeriesStudies in Comparative Social Pedagogies and International Social Work and Social Policy

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