Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-hb754 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-24T19:55:17.836Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The seductiveness of agelessness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 1999

Department of Human Relations, University of East London


In recent years, many researchers in the study of ageing have adopted a terminology of ‘agelessness’. They argue that old age is nothing more than a social construct and that until it is eliminated as a conceptual category, ageism will continue to flourish. This article challenges this view, stating that the current tendency towards ‘agelessness’ is itself a form of ageism, depriving the old of one of their most hard-earned resources: their age. Specific theories of ageing (successful ageing, mask of ageing, continuity theory) are assessed in this light, and original data are presented as evidence of old age as a unique phase of the lifecycle replete with continued developmental possibilities.

Research Article
© 1999 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)