Chapter 9: Stigmatized, marginalized and overlooked: health, later life and gender in India and the United Kingdom
In challenging dominant discourses on older people as vulnerable and dependent, and their health as marked by frailty and decline, the author demonstrates that stereotypical understandings of what ‘the issues’ are for older people leaves them marginalized, stigmatized and overlooked. Taking the example of neoliberal Britain and alarmist discourses of the cost of Alzheimer’s, and neoliberal India where social provision for older people is negligible and the dominant discourse classes older people as the responsibility of families, stereotypical discourses on frailty, disability, dependence and isolation are shown to marginalize other perspectives, with the result that research into old age rights (or their lack) and into later life activity and mutual interdependence across generations are framed as policy objectives rather than empirical fact. This chapter demonstrates how a focus on what older people do, that is not predetermined by ageist thinking, produces a broader understanding of what determines health in later life.
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