“SUCH IS LIFE THAT PEOPLE GET OLD AND CHANGE”: GENDERED EXPERIENCES OF AGEING BODIES FROM OLDER PERSONS’ VIEW
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Ageing/aged bodies reflects gender norms and power relations. The paper is based on analysis of four focus groups realized in homes for older and infirm persons with participants older than 65 years. Old age and ageing are not gender neutral phenomenon – perception, experience, interpretation and strategies of managing of ageing/ aged body are gendered. For participants tidiness and cleanliness are most important despite gender. Dominant interpretations of focus groups’ participants reflect traditional understanding of gender roles, gender ideals and internalization of gender and age stereotypes: physical appearance is more important to women than to men; beauty and physical attractiveness are reserved for youth; female sexuality is interpreted as burden, obligation and source of pain for women; menopause is interpreted as beginning of declining; male ageing bodies were interpreted in functional terms. Negative attitudes toward all types of surgical interventions on face and body are dominant and in this aspect participants reject socio-cultural pressures for youthful and glamorous looking in old age.
447 – 462
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