This controversial book argues that concepts such as ‘successful’ and ‘active’ ageing - ubiquitous terms in research, marketing and policy making concerned with older adults – are potentially dangerous paradigms that reflect and exacerbate inequalities in older populations.
This author presents a new theory to make sense of the popularity of these ‘successful’ and ‘active’ ageing concepts. Readers are invited to view them through the prism of Model Ageing – a theory that throws light on the causes and consequences of attempts to model ageing as a phenomenon and stage of life that is in need of direction, reshaping and control.
This is essential reading for anyone seeking to make sense of social constructions of ageing in contemporary societies.
"This book challenges the pervasive model of successful aging through both cogent critique and penetrating analyses of its policy and practice implications. The proposed alternative frame of ‘model aging’ is a unique and important contribution to knowledge and understanding." Anne Martin-Matthews, Unversity of British Columbia, Canada
"Anyone who uses “active” and “successful” ageing as concepts in their policy, research or advocacy work, needs to think carefully about what these mean. Virpi Timonen’s book provides a valuable, if sometimes challenging, aid to doing this." Judith Davey, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
"Timonen is a fine theorist and critical thinker. This book will challenge readers to revisit their notions of a good old age." Norah Keating, University of Alberta, Canada
Virpi Timonen is Professor in Social Policy and Ageing at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Her research focuses on intergenerational relationships and policy pertaining to older adults. In 2014-2018, she serves as the President of the Research Committee on the Sociology of Ageing (RC11) of the International Sociological Association.
Paradoxes and puzzles in ageing societies
Critique of successful ageing models
Critique of active ageing models
The problem with modelling ageing
Towards a theory of model ageing