A New Ethic of 'Older': Subjectivity, surgery, and self-stylization

1st Edition

Bridget Garnham

Published July 5, 2019
Reference - 142 Pages - 3 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367349080 - CAT# K441438
Series: Routledge Key Themes in Health and Society

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Through its themes of subjectivity, surgery, and self-stylization this book critically examines the cultural constraints and incitements that shape the practice of cosmetic surgery by older people. The book problematizes anti-ageing discourses to provide a nuanced descriptive, ethical, and political reading of ‘older’ identity politics nested within the contemporary ethico-political terrain of self-care.

A New Ethic of ‘Older’ aims to de-territorialize the ‘older’ subject from normative discourses of ageing and theorize becoming ‘older’. Evidence of an active cultural politics of ‘older’ emerges from the critically reflexive engagement of older people with cosmetic surgery. This engagement constitutes a ‘cutting critique’ of ageing discourses enmeshed in an aesthetic mode of subjectivation that underpins ‘a new ethics of old age’.

The book will appeal to those in the fields of Cultural Gerontology, Ageing Studies, Critical Psychology, Sociology, and Cultural Geography. The methodological approach will be of interest to academics and students exploring the application of Foucault’s work on care of the self to contemporary contexts and practices.


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