Fiction and the Cultural Mediation of Ageing

Lead Research Organisation: Brunel University
Department Name: Sch of Arts

Abstract

The project involves extensive collaboration between the Brunel Centre for Contemporary Writing (BCCW) in the School of Arts at Brunel University, and variously the London Third Age Trust, the Mass Observation Archive at Sussex University, and DEMOS.



The research undertaken involves an innovative methodological 'bricolage', using established techniques from the social sciences and humanities, deploying volunteer groups and individuals to consider and discuss post-war fictional narratives of ageing, and the personal, social and policy implications implicit in such varied, shifting representations of the elderly.



Society's changing construction of roles for older citizens provides the central research question for both the participants and investigators. Existing archival and new material is used for an in-depth longitudinal study of changing social attitudes since 1981.



Contemporary British novelists will be interviewed regarding ageing as both a textual theme, and a personal and professional experience. Critical and analytical research will draw upon the various qualitative data produced to address issues of ageing and its cultural signification in terms of readership, authorship, social attitudes and agency, and public policy. The three major outcomes will include a series of public events, a policy report, and associated academic publications in the literary field using sociological and cultural contexts.

 
Description Citation in CPA, 'Attitudes to Ageing and Older Age'
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL http://www.cpa.org.uk/information/readings/attitudes_to_ageing.pdf
 
Description Citations in Birmingham Policy Commission Report, 'Healthy Ageing in the 21st Century'
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/impact/policy-commissions/healthy-ageing/index.aspx
 
Description And now I am old : mass observation and ageing 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Paper detailing mass-observation aspect (FCMAP in particular)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description FCMAP : applying narrative theories to social research 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited Plenary Speaker
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011