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Precarity and AgeingUnderstanding Insecurity and Risk in Later Life$
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Amanda Grenier, Chris Phillipson, and Richard A. Settersten Jr

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340850

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340850.001.0001

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Rereading frailty through a lens of precarity: an explication of politics and the human condition of vulnerability

Rereading frailty through a lens of precarity: an explication of politics and the human condition of vulnerability

Chapter:
(p.69) 4 Rereading frailty through a lens of precarity: an explication of politics and the human condition of vulnerability
Source:
Precarity and Ageing
Author(s):

Amanda Grenier

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447340850.003.0004

Over the last 15 years, frailty has emerged as one of the most powerful constructs in gerontology, geriatrics, and health care delivery. Yet the dominant portrayal and response to frailty tends to mask that frailty is experienced by older people and is historically situated. This chapter suggests that the lens of precarity can be used to focus on the risks and insecurities experienced by older people and convey complex understandings of need in late life. It outlines key lines of thinking with regards to frailty and sketches emerging work on precarity with regards to aging. It then points to two angles to reconsider ‘frailty’ in late life: the politics of frailty, and vulnerability as a means to resituate the response to ‘frail’ subjects. It follows this by outlining the contributions that can be made through an analysis of precarity and concludes with suggestions for theoretical and methodological development.

Keywords:   Ageing, Insecurity, Risk, Vulnerability, Critical gerontology, Transitions, Life course

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