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Ageing, Body and Society Study Group Tw.png


There has been a wealth of work recently on the subject of the body across the humanities and social sciences. Most has, however, focussed on younger, implicitly ´sexier' bodies. Social gerontology has, moreover tended to avoid the subject of the body, in its struggle to assert the social and cultural determinants of ageing, as against the reductionist bio-medical accounts that dominate professional and popular discourses of age. Emphasising the body can seem to demean older people, reducing them to ´failing' bodies. For these reasons gerontology has kept away from the topic. This means, however, that the body in old age has remained largely untheorised and unexplored.

Although work on the body in old age has begun to emerge, it remains scattered. Researchers and scholars are isolated in their disciplinary groupings. There is no obvious forum for exchange. The aim of this study group is to redress this, and establish a forum that will bring together work across a range of approaches and subject areas. We also invite researchers, practitioners and academics to revisit and explore the embodied dimensions of their work.

The aim of the group is therefore to be a focus for an exchange of ideas and debate. As part of this there will be a number of one-day seminars and workshops which will explore different aspects of ageing and the body. It is hoped that these will provide a basis for publications. The interests of the group are broad and include theory, empirical research and practice in relation to, for example:


  • Anti-ageing/Age Resistance
  • Lived bodies in everyday life
  • Clothing and embodiment
  • Discourses of ageing and ageism
  • Well-being and the ageing body
  • The masquerade of age
  • Policing old bodies: intergenerational conflict and the role of governance
  • Queer bodies
  • Racialised bodies
  • Fluid bodies, leaky bodies
  • Gendered bodies
  • Bodies in the Third and Fourth Ages
  • Researching ageing bodies: methods and methodology
  • Exercise and 'active' ageing
  • Spatial geographies of bodies
  • Bodies and institutions
  • Death, dying and disposal
  • Bodywork
  • Emotions

Forthcoming Events

Please watch this space for details.

Past Events

26 February 2016

BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group 7th Annual Conference: Ageing and Culture - Programme

University of Manchester, UK

28 November 2014
BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group 6th Annual Conference 2014: Researching Bodies - Programme
British Library Conference Centre, London, UK


18 October 2013
(a)Dressing the Ageing Demographic: A One-day Symposium Exploring Ageing and Dress - supported by the Ageing, Body and Society Study Group
Royal College of Art, London, UK 


6 July 2012
BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group Conference:‘Ageing, Body And Society: Critical Perspectives, Future Challenges’
The British Library Conference Centre, London, UK


6 September 2011
BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group Conference: Body Work in Health and Social Care
The British Library Conference Centre, London, UK


19 July 2010

3rd Annual One Day Conference: 'Futures of Ageing: Science, Technology and the Body'

The British Library Conference Centre, London, UK


Presentations from the conference:

Download the Final Conference Programme here.


26 March 2010

'Embodiment and Dementia'

University of Bradford, UK

Dr Pia Kontos from the University of Toronto, Canada gave the Keynote address.


20 July 2009
2nd Annual One Day Conference of the BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group: 'Gender, Ageing and the Body' - Download a copy of the final programme.

British Library, London, UK


25 June 2008

Re-launch of the Ageing, Body and Society group - A One Day Conference

Download the final Programme.

University of Reading , UK

Keynote Address: Professor Stephen Katz (Trent University, Canada)

Plenary Address: Professor Julia Twigg (University of Kent, UK)

Joining the Group

The group organises seminars, workshops conferences and other events and has an e-mail discussion list as well as a web page. New members, including students, are very welcome to join the Group.  Join the Ageing, Body & Society JISCmail list.

Annual Report

Read the Group's Annual Report.

Contact the Convenors

Offers of help, venues or ideas for future events are always welcome.


Dr Wendy Martin

School of Health Sciences and Social Care

Brunel University

Mary Seacole Building


Middlesex  UB8 3PH

Send an email. 


Professor Julia Twigg

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

The University of Kent


Kent  CT2 7NZ

01227 827539

Send an email.


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