Physical Activity and Narratives of Successful Ageing

  • Elizabeth C. J. Pike
Part of the Global Culture and Sport Series book series (GCS)


There is considerable research evidence that indicates that the process of ageing and those who belong to the older population have long been defined as a threat to social values and interests (Critcher, 2003). From Ancient Greece when old age (geras) was mostly viewed as ugly, mean and tragic, through to the Byzantine Empire, later life was believed to be accompanied by economic vulnerability, physical frailty and social marginality. Medieval societies often took a more positive stance that old age was the end of life’s journey toward wisdom and redemption (Gilleard, 2002, 2007a, b). In modern neoliberal societies, the large ‘baby boom’ generation born after the second World War is now reaching retirement with expectations of long life, and they are variously described through powerful (if misleading) metaphors such as a tsunami or an ‘apocalypse of ageing’ (Haber, 2004: 515).


Physical Activity Successful Ageing Physical Frailty Moral Panic Master Athlete 
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© Elizabeth C.J. Pike 2015

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  • Elizabeth C. J. Pike

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