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Description - Women and Ageing: Private Meaning, Social Lives by Margaret O'Neill

This edited collection considers the ways older women's life narratives redefine culturally imposed conceptions of what it means to grow older. Drawing on research from age studies as well as social and cultural gerontology, the contributors explore the subjective accounts and diverse voices of older women. In doing so, they examine the tensions between older women's social identities versus their individual narratives.

In their chapters, the contributors acknowledge, explore and contextualise women's experiences of growing older, thus counterbalancing the often one-sided, negative representations of ageing perpetuated by dominant cultural discourse. They focus on diverse forms of life writing including memoirs and (auto)biography, digital and visual forms of life narrative as well as autoethnographic accounts. As the chapters in this collection demonstrate, life writing by and about older women often necessitates opening out literary forms and modes of critique, searching for narrative and performative strategies, and creating spaces in which to inscribe subjective experiences. Relationships, intergenerational connections, and visual and material cues are often integral to these analyses, which assert the richness of older women's life narratives.

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Life Writing.

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