Wray, Sharon (2007) Women making sense of mid-life: ethnic and cultural diversity. Journal of aging studies, 21 (1). pp. 31-42. ISSN 0890-4065
Abstract

Within social gerontology and the sociology of ageing there has been a tendency to focus on ageing and midlife as a period
characterised by adaptation, consumption and commodification of the body (e.g. Biggs, S. (1997). Choosing not to be Old? Masks,
bodies and identity management in later life. Ageing and Society 17: 553–70; Featherstone, M., & Hepworth, M. 1996. The
midlifestyle of ‘George and Lynne’: Notes on a popular strip. In The Body: Social Process and Cultural Theory, edited by M.
Featherstone, M. Hepworth and B. Turner. London: Sage). This has highlighted the extent to which an ageing appearance might
impact on the formation of identity and self during midlife. However, a limitation of this focus is a lack of attention to the
significance of ethnic and cultural diversity on how midlife is experienced and enacted. In this paper it is argued, such theorisations
tend to overlook the complex meanings attached to midlife and how these are often bound up with past, current, and future ethnic
and cultural belief systems and values. Based on empirical research with women from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, this
paper seeks to examine the different meanings women attach to midlife. It considers the extent to which current theories of ageing
have neglected experiences of midlife that are not structured around Western concerns and priorities. The main argument is that
women's priorities throughout midlife differ significantly in relation to cultural and ethnic affiliation and background.
© 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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