The “Good Life”: Third Age, Brand Modi and the cultural demise of old age in urban India

Tannistha Samanta

Abstract


In this piece, I outline the possibility of understanding old age through the lens of cultural gerontology highlighting the intersecting logics of age with consumption, leisure and identity. I argue that with rising affluence and demographic aging, India is poised to experience an emergent cultural movement, the Third Age (Laslett, 1989), wherein access to cultural capital and an active participation in a leisure culture will offer social membership among upper middle class older adults. Using examples from luxury senior housing projects and travel/holiday packages, I reflect how this process of agentic consumerism with a focus on the ideals of youthfulness, choice, self-expression and pleasure is turning the decline narrative (typically associated with “natural” aging) on its head. The success of this market-driven cultural model, I argue, lies in the celebration of a project on the self where the responsibility to “age well” rests with the individual-a key political economy of the neoliberal regime-absolving the state of public provisions and social security. In conclusion, I show how age and political masculinity intersect to create, what I call, Brand Modi- a potent vision of active and age-ambiguous consumer citizenry. Through this construction, I argue, life-stage has been suitably marketed to match the aspirations of a greying cohort marking a new stage in the cultural constitution of age in urban India.       


Keywords


Cultural Turn, Third Age, Brand Modi, consumerism, India

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bolles, Richard Nelson (1981). “The three boxes of life and how to get out of them. An introduction to life/work planning”. Berkley: Ten Speed Press.

ECLAC (2002). “Los adultos mayores en América Latina y El Caribe” (Older adults in Latin America and The Caribbean). Santiago de Chile: ECLAC

Escobar, Silvia (2014). “Trabajando por la vida. Los adultos mayores en el mundo rural de Bolivia” (Working to live. Older adults in Bolivia’s rural world). Bolivia: CEDLA, HelpAge International

HelpAge (2012). “Los adultos mayores en el mundo del trabajo urbano” (Older adults in the urban work world). Bolivia: CEDLA, HelpAge International

INEI (2017). “Situación de la población adulta mayor” (The Situation of Older adult population). Technical Report N°3- September 2017. Lima: INEI

Lamb, Sarah (2013). “Permanent personhood or meaningful decline? Toward a critical anthropology of successful aging”. In Journal of Aging Studies. N°29. p. 41- 52

Miralles, Ivana (2011). “Envejecimiento productivo. Las contribuciones de las personas mayores desde la cotidianidad” (Productive aging. The daily contribution of older adults). In Trabajo y sociedad. N° 16. Vol. XV

Montes de Oca, V. and Montoya, J. (2009). “Situación laboral de la PAM en el Estado de México” (The work situation of older adults in the State of Mexico). In Papeles de Población. N°59

Nué, Angélica (2000). “Percepciones y autopercepciones de ancianos en la comunidad de Santa Cruz de Andamarca” (Perceptions and autoperceptions of the elderly in the community of Santa Cruz- Andamarca). In Anthropologica. N° 18. pp. 153- 173

Parry, Jane and Taylor, Rebecca (2007). “Orientation, opportunity and autonomy: why people work after state pension age in three areas of England”. In Ageing and Society. Issue 04. Pp. 579- 598

Paz, Jorge (2010). “Envejecimiento y empleo en América Latina y El Caribe” (Aging and employment in Latin America and The Caribbean). Ginebra: ILO

Olivera, J. and Clausen, J. (2014). “Las características del adulto mayor peruano y las políticas de protección social” (The characteristics of the Peruvian Older Adult and the policies of social protection). In Economía. Vol. XXXVII. N°73. pp. 75- 113

Ramos, Miguel (2009). “Las PAM y su contribución a la lucha contra la pobreza” (The older adults and their contribution to poverty reduction). Lima: UNFPA, MINDES

Reynolds, et al (2012). “Otherwise it would be nothing but cruises”. In International Journal of Ageing and Later Life. Vol. 7. N°1. pp. 79-106




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/aa.2018.208

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2018 Tannistha Samanta

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

SaveSaveSaveSave