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Age Inequality: Postmodernism

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Argues that deindustrialisation demanded a particular set of age identities. As we move to a post-industrial economy, the different phases of the life course become more blurred.
Attitudes have changed towards retirement as consumer culture has increased. The ‘grey £’ is a valuable asset. People are no longer restricted by their age but it is still too soon to discuss the end of ‘old age’ due to other factors (class, ethnicity, gender).
Featherstone & Hepworth
Argue that the life course has begun to be deconstructed; two different process have taken place: 1. De-differentiation: the process whereby differences between stages of life become less clear. 2. Deinstitutionalisation: the process whereby the institutions of society become less closely associated with maintaining different phases of the life course. Constant messages from the media to “stay young”; the ‘mask of aging’. Children are more alike. Middle class adults in retirement can enjoy the same standard of living as before they retired. Many people reject their chronological age as an indicator of themselves.