Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 4
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    COLLINS, TRACY 2014. Remembering the past, looking to the future: Christmas as a symbol of change in later life widowhood. Ageing and Society, Vol. 34, Issue. 09, p. 1525.


    Róin, Ása 2014. Embodied ageing and categorisation work amongst retirees in the Faroe Islands. Journal of Aging Studies, Vol. 31, p. 83.


    Andrews, Molly 2012. Unexpecting age. Journal of Aging Studies, Vol. 26, Issue. 4, p. 386.


    FEALY, GERARD McNAMARA, MARTIN TREACY, MARGARET PEARL and LYONS, IMOGEN 2012. Constructing ageing and age identities: a case study of newspaper discourses. Ageing and Society, Vol. 32, Issue. 01, p. 85.


    ×

25th volume celebration paper Age-identities and the celebration of birthdays: Bill Bytheway's paper, ‘Demographic statistics and old age ideology’, was published in Volume 1 of Ageing & Society (part 3: 347–64). Bill was the Editor during 1997–2001.

  • BILL BYTHEWAY (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X05003831
  • Published online: 01 June 2005
Abstract

In a paper in the January issue of this volume of Ageing & Society, Eric Midwinter argued that ‘much can be learned from re-drawing the demographic map with social rather than chronological contours’. This opinion reflects 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.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Faculty of Health and Social Care, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BR e-mail: W.R.Bytheway@open.ac.uk
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: