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Race, embodiment and later life: Re-animating aging bodies of color

Rajan-Rankin, S. (2018) Race, embodiment and later life: Re-animating aging bodies of color. Journal of Aging Studies, 45 . pp. 32-38. ISSN 0890-4065. (doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2018.01.005) (KAR id:66038)


This theoretical essay examines the intersections between race, ethnicity and old age from an inter-disciplinary lens. Drawing on cultural gerontology (especially embodied aging studies) and post-colonial perspectives on aging, it explores how an emphasis on the body and embodiment can serve as a conceptual lens for understanding racialized aging bodies. A tentative framework for analysis is proposed. The concept of exile explores how bodies of color and older bodies are denigrated through the hegemonic (white, youth-centered, masculinist) gaze. Re-animation can take place by transcending double-consciousness: ‘seeing beyond’ the dominant gaze. Othering and otherness are explored in relation to both raced and aging bodies. The limits of ethnic aging are scrutinized at an epistemic level, simultaneously informing, and obscuring the understanding of lived experiences of racialized ethnic minorities in old age. Visible and invisible difference provide a way of unpacking the simultaneous hypervisibility of older (female) bodies of color, and their invisibility in institutional and policy discourses. De-coloniality is considered, by exploring ways to resist hegemonic power through embodied ways of knowing. This article concludes by exploring how recent methodological innovations – especially the visual and sensory turn- can offer new ways of understanding the lived experiences of aging bodies of color.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jaging.2018.01.005
Uncontrolled keywords: Aging; assemblage; bodies and embodiment; post-coloniality and de-coloniality; race and ethnicity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Sweta Rajan Rankin
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 20:24 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 11:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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