How do we sustain agency and identity amidst the frailty of advanced old age? What role does care play in this process?
Pushing forward new sociological theory, this book explores the theoretical and practical issues raised by age and infirmity. It begins with a theoretical examination of the fourth age, interrogating notions of agency, identity and personhood, as well as the impact of frailty, abjection and ‘othering’. It then applies this analysis to issues of care.
Exploring our collective hopes and fears concerning old age and the ends of people’s lives, this is essential reading on one of the biggest social issues of our time.
"Offers a critical reflection on the central scientific, practitioner and policy perspectives on the oldest old, and as such addresses one of the key social issues of our time." Kevin McKee, Dalarna University, Sweden
"Addresses in a frank, confronting and yet respectful way, the dilemmas faced by all people dealing with advanced old age." Carolien Smits, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
Paul Higgs is Professor of the Sociology of Ageing at University College London. He has published widely on the changing nature of later life and is a co-editor of the journal 'Social Theory and Health'. Paul is also a fellow of both the Academy of Social Sciences and the Gerontological Society of America.
Chris Gilleard is Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences at the University of Bath and the Division of Psychiatry at UCL. He has published in the areas of psychology, medicine, history and sociology as they relate to ageing and old age. He is also a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Advanced old and the fourth age paradigm;
Defining personhood and identity;
Cognitive, Emotional and Social Aspects of Caring for Frail Old People;
Organisational and Policy Aspects of Caring for Frail Old People;
Carework and bodywork;
Care and the Limits of Personhood;