Journal Article

The Ontology of Ageing


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 28, issue 5, pages 695-707
Published in print October 1998 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 1998 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
The Ontology of Ageing

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Ageist ideology presents old age as a time of dependency and disengagement, a withdrawal from life, rather than a part of life. While this can be recognized as a stereotypical view of ageing, its influence has to be acknowledged as profound and far-reaching. This raises a number of questions about the ontological status of old age—that is, questions about the nature of old age as a feature of human existence. This paper focuses on two particular aspects of the ontology of old age: selfhood and loss. The notion of self is one that has received considerable attention in social theory as a result of the postmodernist critique in recent years. However, little or no attention has been paid to the role of selfhood in old age. Old age can be seen as a stage in the life course characterized by loss or, more specifically, a variety of losses. Loss is also a significant factor in relation to selfhood in particular and ontology in general, especially as loss so often involves a loss of meaning.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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