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Abstracts, Journal issues, NORMA 2.2

Ancient monuments, mature men and those popping amphetamine: Researching the lives of older men

Linn Sandberg

Research attention on older men and masculinities has been relatively scant. What has been written on older men has, however, often lacked a feminist and critical perspective. This article outlines some of the previous research and suggests a turn to feminist and queer theory to grasp the complexity of older men’s lives more fully. A crucial issue is how old age both may be a source of power for men and may marginalise men. Drawing on interviews with two men aged 73 and 75, and theoretical insights from gender studies, the article discusses the themes of bodies, sexuality, maturity and older men’s construction of the self as autonomous and individual. Clearly, the lives of older men must be understood intersectionally whereby ability and disability play key roles. In conclusion, the article suggests a turn a way from an assimilationist approach to ageing and older people, and towards seeing the possibilities of norm-breaking by older men.

Keywords
older men, feminist theory, queer theory, bodies, sexuality, maturity, norm-breaking

NORMA: Nordic Journal for Masculinity Studies 2(2), 85-108

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