The "ageless self"? Emplacement of identities in sun belt retirement communities

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104 Scopus citations


In this article, I critique the concept of the "ageless self" and illuminate its expression as a potent societal script in "successful" aging. The ageless self plays nicely into the prolongation of midlife as the leitmotif of contemporary society, conveying little about change and what it means to grow old. Nowhere is the image of the ageless self more apparent (transparent) than in the emplacement of identities in Sun Belt retirement communities. The Arizona Office of Senior Living works in partnership with private industry in promoting and marketing Arizona as a place where active affluent "seniors" live in a blissful and perpetual state of mature adulthood. My principal argument is that place-based images of aging are mold and mirror of deeply embedded ageist attitudes and societal values. I call for multiple epistemologies in exploring the spatiality of aging and in forging a geographically informed critical gerontology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy


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