Aging Well as Activism: Advancing the Mexican Social Body through Individually Successful Aging
Keywords:Activism, Healthy Aging, Mexico, Preventative Healthcare, Successful Aging
In contrast to discourses of “successful aging” which pathologize and individualize change in later life, this case study of a retired Mexican couple highlights the pleasurable, political, and collective aspects of aging. Here, I analyze the narratives of a couple who found aging “well” fulfilling in part because it served as an intervention into societal-level problems. I argue that their activist form of aging was enabled by local cultural understandings of the Mexican populace as a biologically and socially interrelated whole. They hoped that the Mexican social body would follow a particular life course – of maturing toward modernity – and they sought to model and promote such maturation in their own later lives. This included promoting a health “culture of prevention,” living out self-consciously modern forms of gender and family, and active community participation. I assert that their happiness in older age, including their ability to cope with local crises of violence and corruption, stemmed partly from their belief that the attributes and activities which enhanced their own lives simultaneously served as activist interventions into the broader populace’s ills. This discussion of the context-specific ways one Mexican couple saw their efforts to live good later lives as contributing meaningfully to societal change over time highlights the need to understand aging and later life as political arenas with collective rather than merely individual import.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
- Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
- The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
- Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;
- The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
- Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
- The Author represents and warrants that:
- the Work is the Author’s original work;
- the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
- the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
- the Work has not previously been published;
- the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
- the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
- The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.
Revised 7/16/2018. Revision Description: Removed outdated link.