Ageing and anthropology @EASA2016

Please consider submitting an abstract for one of the two accepted panels on ageing at the EASA2016 Conference in Milan, Italy (July 20-23)! Click the links below the corresponding abstracts to submit your paper proposal. Deadline is Feb 15, 2016

First is a panel organized by AAGE members Jason Danely (Oxford Brookes University, President-Elect, AAGE) and Jolanda Lindenberg (Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing, Netherlands).

Re-conceptualizing Kinship and Relatedness in an Ageing World

Abstract

Within the discipline, critical voices emerging from post-colonial, feminist, queer studies and post-humanism seem to have deconstructed the anthropological category of kinship so comprehensively that it can be difficult to tell where to pick up the pieces. Given the highly mutable bonds of relatedness that characterize anthropological depictions of family life today, the stable structures and patterns of classical kinship appear less compelling, yet empirically, it remains evident that kinship still plays a vital role in the shaping of narratives of the life course and the provision of care.

In this panel we will reconsider kinship on the basis of insights from anthropological studies in societies experiencing rapid population ageing historically unprecedented longevity and declines in fertility. What happens to the conceptualization of kinship as populations become older, live longer, and as forms of their relatedness diversify? How does it give room for “constructed forms of kinship” and “logics of relatedness” (Sahlins 2011: 5)? What happens as we decenter the reproductive nuclear family and try to orient from the perspectives of older persons? Increasing numbers of people living longer also means increases in physical frailty and cognitive impairment, producing new potentials for indebtedness and intimacy, love and abandonment over the life course. Elsewhere, absence of kin due to smaller families, displacement or immigration, creates new spaces for political actors to occupy a more “family-like” role of care in the lives of older people. Our ageing world provokes us to imagine different forms and futures of relationality, affection and embodiment.

Chair: Jason Danely

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The second panel also sounds fascinating!
Imagining an Old Future – Anthropological Perspectives on Age and Ageing

Convenors:
Tiina Suopajärvi (University of Helsinki), tiina.suopajarvi@gmail.com
Cordula Endter (Institute of European Ethnology/Cultural Anthropology), cordula.endter@uni-hamburg.de
Kamilla Nørtoft (University of Copenhagen), kamilla.nortoft@hum.ku.dk

Long Abstract
Ageing is one of the biggest social challenges of our time. In western societies old age is often considered as social and economic problem that needs to be resolved, on the other hand, by the decision-makers, but increasingly also by the elderly themselves. Desirable ageing is mainly pictured as active, healthy and independent. However, in reality ageing adults live their everyday lives in different kinds of communities, multiple socio-material relations and diverse bodies.
Anthropologists are in a crucial position in understanding and disclosing the complexity of age and ageing. However, this may require reconsideration of the methodological, theoretical and empirical knowledge-making within the discipline. What can we know through the existing anthropological practices, and what kinds of knowledge and forms of expression remain hidden? How can new disciplinary and methodological crossings expand our understanding of the heterogeneity of ageing? And further, how can we ensure that the voices of the ageing citizens become heard in their communities and societies? In other words, can, and should, anthropologists become engaged more directly in the policy on ageing? And does this call for, for example, more collaborative and participatory ways of asking questions, or generating and transmitting knowledge?
We invite scholars both from anthropology and other disciplines, as well as people outside academic world to consider the new challenges of ageing. We are looking for lively discussions on theoretical conceptualisations but also on practical, applied perceptions, experiences and practices on what it means to become old in the 21st century.

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Conditions and Rules on the Call for Papers for EASA 2016
Webpage: http://www.easaonline.org/conferences/easa2016/cfp.shtml
Deadline: The call for papers is now open and closes at midnight GMT on February 15th, 2016.
Proposing a paper: All proposals must be made via the online form, not by email. Proposals must be made to a specific panel. There is a ‘propose a paper’ link beneath the long abstract of each panel page.

Paper proposals must consist of:

  • a paper title
  • the name/s and email address/es of author/s
  • a short abstract of fewer than 300 characters
  • a long abstract of fewer than 250 words

 

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