Toward Critical Narrativity: Stories of Ageing in Contemporary Social Policy

  • Simon BiggsEmail author
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 15)


This book includes a critical assessment of “positive ageing” policies, which are becoming increasingly popular in North America and parts of Europe. Trends in UK social policy are used as a case example to draw out guiding narratives, affecting both the public legitimacy and the personal identities that are made available to older people. In particular, the value of work and work-related initiatives is questioned if these artificially restrict socially valued definitions of adult ageing, it is argued that a narrative approach can make explicit elements that are often taken for granted in policy making. It also draws attention to the complex and contradictory nature of the stories that we are encouraged to live by in later life by opening up a critical space between description, intention, and agency. A critical narrativity allows us to interrogate political attempts to fix definitions of later life, which may or may not benefit older people themselves.


National Health Service Welfare State Social Inclusion Ageing Identity Older People 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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