Ros Jennings - Internal seminars - University of Derby

‘Growing Old Disgracefully’ - notions of subculture and counter culture come of age

A seminar at the University of Derby presented by Ros Jennings.
Wednesday 18 February 2015, 1pm to 2pm.
Room S110, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GB.

What the seminar will cover:

This presentation will discuss my current work on the role of popular music in relation to identity and ageing.  It will explain how using a feminist qualitative approach enables researchers to ‘think with age’ in order to challenge narrow understandings of older women and ideas of subculture and counterculture. Using discussions of an ‘inheritance tracks’ project undertaken with members of a regional group of Growing Old Disgracefully in the UK, it suggests that popular music provides an important mechanism to reflect on the interconnectedness of culture and identities across the life course. It argues that older age can provide a timespace for resisting hegemonic stereotypes that insist that older women should become invisible to society. The study that I will present indicates that playing music and listening to music is not the preserve of the young but constitutes an important identity project (Bennett, 2013), an immense source of pleasure and also provides instances of, and opportunities for, connectivity with others (of all ages) across the life course. For the women who participated in this research, to grow old disgracefully is to strive to grow old with the expectations that they have the right to live an affirmative old age by both continuing to live the values and ‘freedoms’ that they articulated in relation to the music they chose and remembered and by passing these on to future generations. In so doing, notions of subculture and counterculture, once firmly associated with youth, have now literally ‘come of age’ and provide productive ways to think about notions of empowerment and resistance.

All are welcome, and no booking is needed to attend. Just come along.

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