Understanding the vital emergence and expression of aging: How matter comes to matter in gerontology's posthumanist turn

Andrews, G and Duff, C 2019, 'Understanding the vital emergence and expression of aging: How matter comes to matter in gerontology's posthumanist turn', Journal of Aging Studies, vol. 49, pp. 46-55.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Understanding the vital emergence and expression of aging: How matter comes to matter in gerontology's posthumanist turn
Author(s) Andrews, G
Duff, C
Year 2019
Journal name Journal of Aging Studies
Volume number 49
Start page 46
End page 55
Total pages 10
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Recent years have witnessed the beginnings of a posthumanist turn in critical/cultural gerontology. This is a turn that is partly demanded by, and provides means for illuminating, the posthuman social condition that older people experience in the twenty-first century. That has incorporated contributions from a range of theoretical and empirical traditions including new materialisms, non-representational theory, science and technology studies, arts, performance and sensory studies. A turn that, decentring the human subject, has envisaged aging as a distributed process involving multiple interacting living/biological and material/technological actors and excessive forces. This paper describes three ontological understandings of the vital emergence and expression of aging that the turn has ultimately generated (aging emerging and expressed through relational material assemblages; aging enacted and performed by open vital bodies with vibrant objects; aging in immediate, pre-personal, more-than-representational space-times). It then describes how, rather than being sidelined, four longstanding humanistic concerns have been reimagined in scholarship in 'more-than-human', 'other-than-fully conscious' terms (meaning, disadvantage, agency, communication). It is suggested that together these understandings and reimaginings constitute an open theory on aging, and a possible way to frame future studies. However, acknowledging that there is still much to do, the paper concludes with some thoughts on future challenges and possibilities for posthumanist research on aging.
Subject Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology
Organisation and Management Theory
Keyword(s) Affect
Assemblage
Gerontology
New materialisms
Non-representation
Posthumanism
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.jaging.2019.04.002
Copyright notice © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0890-4065
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