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Humberstone, Barbara (2012)
Publisher: Leisure Studies Association
Languages: English
Types: Part of book or chapter of book
Research evidencing and advocating active leisure as a way towards healthy ageing is a positive strategy for individuals and society. However, without locating this research in the broader socio-cultural contexts of ageing and taking seriously the voices of a diversity of older people, we cannot fully understand what ageing actually means to different people, nor can we hope to create good practices for healthy ageing and flourishing communities. Discourses around ageing are largely out of touch with the experiences of many of the over-60s population. This chapter examines the potential for exploring the perspectives of active older people, to understand how they remain healthy and independent as they age. It draws upon ethnography, auto-ethnography and creative non-fiction to generate insight. It is argued that not only are societies? and individuals? knowledge and understandings of being and becoming old significantly influenced by the power of discourses, contextual locations such as time and place also play a crucial part in this construction. The chapter thus explores the changing relationship of self, body, social and environmental contexts and the implication these have for meaning making, practices and expectations for later lives. Through a nexus of the ageing body, physical activity and nature through the medium of windsurfing, it attempts to 'trouble' stereotypes of ageing, drawing attention to the location and environment in which the activity of windsurfing occurs. The methodological approach is interpretative and draws together current socio-cultural understandings of the ageing body.
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