The Saxo Institute
Karen Blixensvej 4
2300 København S. Denmark
Locating Practices of old age. An inquiry into the policies, documents and objects and experiences of aging (1891-1976)
This project examines how old age was configured and transformed in specific practices in and around the public institution of the old age home. Drawing upon archival research I will analyze how policies, documents and objects concerning old age constituted aging processes within and around old age homes in Denmark, in the period 1891-1976.
I propose to study the cultural history of aging as material-discursively configured in different practices. Stressing practices means that old age in the past actual took place that it is processual and relational, and that it can not be isolated to one site, actor or event.
In my inquiry into how old age was configured in specific practices in and around the old age home I find guidance in the following research questions:
1. How was old age categorized and inscribed in institutional policies and conceptualizations of old age?
2. How was the body of the old aged characterized, what was its capacities and limits, and how was it interned upon in terms of advice, assistance and care?
3. How was old age and concepts of good life in old age materialized, especially in the physical environment of institutions and houses targeting old people?
Supervisor: Prof. Niels Jul Nielsen