Oh Ageism Up Yours! Female Perspectives of Ageing and Punk Identities Across the Lifecourse

Willmott, Alison (2020) Oh Ageism Up Yours! Female Perspectives of Ageing and Punk Identities Across the Lifecourse. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/QAZY7824

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The experience of ageing is relevant to everyone. Yet, older people in western societies are subject to cultural expectations that influence the way they act, look and spend their time. Ageing women are subject to gendered expectations throughout their lives, with the expectation to be ’age-appropriate’ expanding beyond appearance to incorporate the way that older women live their lives and the places they go. If ageing means that women are meant to restrict the way they live their lives, what is it like? Ageism and expectations of age are powerful, but there are parallel influences. The study takes the legacies and influences of punk culture as a tool for the examination of age. As a subculture characterised by an anti-authority attitude, and a resistance to convention, women who identified with punk may be better equipped to resist conforming to wider cultural expectations of ageing. The study takes a feminist, qualitative approach to explore the experiences of women aged fifty to sixty-five who identified with punk, using the theoretical framework of cultural gerontology. Nineteen women were interviewed using semi-structured interviews, and themes identified using thematic analysis. Five themes were identified: ‘Everyday Ageism’, ‘The Punk Toolkit’, ‘The Feminist Toolkit’, ‘Work and Retirement’ and ‘Health’. The research concludes that the women in the study juxtapose their ageing experiences with a punk ethos, which remains of significance across the ageing lifecourse and is drawn upon, providing a sense of continuity. Moments of conformity occur across the lifecourse but do not disrupt an innate punk ethos. However, ageist cultural pressures remain powerful and this often results in a time-consuming inner narrative, negotiating ageist notions of ‘age-appropriateness’ with punk resistance to convention and conformity. Three concepts are introduced: the ‘Punk Toolkit’, the ‘Feminist Toolkit’ and the ‘Ageist Forcefield’, alongside recommendations for their use as practical tools in the ageing lifecourse, and to facilitate further research and reflective practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Jennings, Rosrjennings@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/ros-jennings/
Grist, Hannahhgrist@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/hannah-grist/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ageism; Punk identities; Gender stereotypes; Women
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2021 13:11
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:53
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/9297

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