From a perspective of critical age studies, this panel wishes to create a platform where the various meanings and implications of age are made transparent; that reflects on the transformations of what is expected, desired and predicted in different stages of life, in different cultural contexts.
The demographic challenges of an ageing world put meanings, functions and consequences of age in the limelight. In most countries, age is an attractive tool for governmental practice. A broad spectrum of civil rights and obligations, resources and responsibilities, are tied to different ages, in various ways enabling and limiting the lives of the citizens. However, age is also a concept charged with different cultural meanings depending on the social and historical context. In times of welfare challenges the historical and cultural motivation for a certain age limit is sometimes made visible, and age norms problematized and questioned. Age and age categorizations are central parameters in many research fields and academic disciplines; however the meanings of age are not always explicitly addressed as the main interest, or as a more general matter. Sought with this panel is a platform where the various meanings and implications of age are made transparent; that reflects on the transformations of what is expected, desired and predicted in different stages of life, and what is not. We invite papers that, from a broad spectra of empirical angles, address and problematize narratives, norms, practices, power relations, embodiments and materialisations of age in a transforming world. How are different ages done, perceived, categorized and valued through time and space, in different environments and situations. Hereby the panel wishes to elaborate a perspective on age that is both politically and scholarly significant, as well as to strengthen the internationally growing theoretical field of critical age studies.