The life course is being reconfigured through ideals of active ageing. This panel tracks the changes in the practices of old age, and inquire into how active ageing has materialised in new technologies, digitalisations, dwellings and imaginaries, and positioned old age as an active phase of life.
Since the 1990s, active ageing has changed the ways old age has been organised and configured. Active ageing is a fusion of many different ageing theories positioning ageing as malleable, and different kinds of activities as rejuvenating (Lassen & Moreira 2014). With the ageing populations, the healthy generations currently entering old age and the call for an overall change in the ways we perceive old age, active ageing has spread from political forums in the EU and WHO, to local forms of governance, the silver economy and the everyday lives of older people. While active ageing has been widely studied and criticised, most of these studies have been conceptual and discursive. Only few studies have inquired into practices, technologies and material interventions that pursue active ageing. However, with an increasing interest for socio-gerontechnology and the socio-material constitution of later life by ethnologists, gerontologists and STS researchers, the time is ripe to inquire into one of the major transformations of the 21st century: the reconfiguration of the life course and the practices, policies and technologies forming this change. With this panel, we wish to track the changes of old age in the slipstream of active ageing policies and discourses, and inquire into how active ageing has materialised in various ways. We encourage papers that ask what kinds of new practices, tracks, technologies, infrastructures, rituals, digitalisations, dwellings and imaginaries that have emerged from the ways active ageing position old age as a new, active phase of life.