The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Age-identities and the celebration of birthdays

Bytheway, Bill (2005). Age-identities and the celebration of birthdays. Ageing and Society, 25(4) pp. 463–477.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Not Set) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (87Kb)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X05003831
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

There is a widespread view among social gerontologists that chronological age is an 'empty' variable, even though it is central to the construction of social identities, both in bureaucratic contexts and in less formal social interaction. This paper draws on material stored in the Mass-Observation Archive at the University of Sussex, England. A large panel of 'ordinary people' was asked to write about 'growing older' in 1992 and about 'birthdays' in 2002. An analysis of the ways in which they revealed their age demonstrates that the revelation of chronological age is unproblematic in certain contexts that are deemed appropriate. Difficulties arise as a result of the association of age with various more nebulous statuses such as 'middle-aged' and 'old'. The implications for the concept of 'the third age' are discussed and it is concluded that social gerontology should pay more attention to the theoretical significance of chronological age and age-identity and less to age statuses.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1469-1779
Keywords: social identity; chronological age; birthdays; experience
Academic Unit/Department: Health and Social Care
Item ID: 4288
Depositing User: Bill Bytheway
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2016 10:30
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/4288
Share this page:

Altmetrics

Scopus Citations

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk