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Accepted Paper:

Doing age at senior summer camps in Sweden  
Gabriella Nilsson (Lund University)

Paper short abstract:

Although commonly associated with childhood, in Sweden summer camps for seniors are arranged to promote health among older people. What are the implications of participating in an activity targeting seniors that is organized in a similar way to activities for children?

Paper long abstract:

With an ageing population initiatives to engage older people in health promoting activities are established. One growing phenomenon in Sweden is Senior Summer Camps, arranged in beautiful natural environments close to water. Their purpose is to enable older people to partake in outdoor activities in an institutionalized setting. Otherwise summer camps are associated with childhood. Historically summer camps were mainly offered socio-economically vulnerable children in the growing cities, or children with special health needs. The premise of this paper is that summer camps for seniors must be viewed in the context of summer camps for children. Recurrent narratives both in the media and by organizers of senior summer camps of participants "turning into children" at camp is one expression of this. Drawing from participant observations at two different senior camps, the objective is to analyse the implications of participating in a health promoting activity targeting "seniors" that is situated in a context with strong connotations to childhood, and organized in a similar way to summer camps for children. The aim is to study how age is done by participants at senior camp. In what way is age, and the ideals, norms, and hierarchies associated with different ages, activated in the relations and practices that take place at senior summer camps?

Panel Age03
Tracking age in a transforming world
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 April, 2019, -