Physical activity and narratives of successful ageing

Pike, E. (2015) Physical activity and narratives of successful ageing. In: Physical Activity and Sport in Later Life: Critical Approaches. Routledge, pp. 21-31. ISBN 9781137429315

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This chapter will present a critical analysis of the coming together of physical activity with narratives of successful ageing/ageing well. I will attempt to make sense of the role of physical activity in later life by providing stories of ageing drawing on narratives from texts including policy documents, public health messages and media reports about the benefits of physical activity for older people. Consideration will be given to the ways in which such texts in neoliberal societies often appear to unquestioningly accept the need for older members of the population to take individual responsibility for engaging in ‘active ageing’ in order to ‘age well’, such that this has become a new framework for, and norm of, ageing. I will then explore some fictional representations of ageing which reinforce these messages, before presenting some examples of the ‘lived experiences’ of being physically active in later life, drawing on a combination of participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and stories written and told by older people. The chapter will also question the extent to which narratives of ageing may present opportunities for older people to resist age-based marginalisation and experience ageing as a positive process, in ways that might inform future policy and practice in making more appropriate provisions for older people’s physical activity.

Publication Type: Book Sections
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Sport > Area > Sport Social Sciences
Depositing User: Elizabeth Pike
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2016 16:08
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2019 10:21

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