Psychology Research Seminars - Dr Ros Jennings

Dr Ros Jennings "Growing Old Disgracefully - notions of subculture and counter culture come of age” Left Dr Ros Jennings

Event date: Wednesday, 18 February 2015 at 4.15 PM

All staff, students and visitors are warmly invited to:

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

A talk at the University of Derby by Dr Ros Jennings, University of Gloucestershire

Time: 4.15-5.15pm

Venue: Kedleston Road Site, Derby, DE22 1GB

Room: Heap Lecture Theatre

About Dr Ros Jennings:

Ros Jennings is the Director of the Centre for Women, Ageing and Media (WAM), Head of Postgraduate Research at the University of Gloucestershire and Reader in Cultural studies. She is Deputy Executive Director of the European Network in Ageing Studies (ENAS) Association and was the Principal Investigator for the successful Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) networking project Women, Ageing and Media (2007).

She is the editor (with Abigail Gardner) of the (2012) collection: Rock On: Women, Ageing and Popular Music, has written on 'Ageing and Popular Music’ for the Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology (2014, forthcoming). She is the author of WAM Manifesto and a founder author together with the New Dynamics of Ageing Handbook of Cultural Gerontology (2014, forthcoming).

She is the author of the WAM Manifestio  and a founder author together with the New Dynamics of Ageing (NDA) research group (University of Sheffield, UK), Women in Journalism and The National Union of Journalists of the Charter against Sexism and Ageism in the Media (CHASM), which was launched in October 2013. Ros was also an expert consultant for the House of Commons round table discussion on Older Women in Public Life (July, 2013).

What the talk will cover:

This presentation will discuss Ros's 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 proovides an important mechanism to reflect on the interconnectedness of culture and identitities 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 Ros will present indicates that playing music and listening to music is not the preserver 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 continuing to live the values and 'freedoms' that they articulated in relation to the music they chose and remembered, and by passing these onto future generations. In doing so, notions of subculture and counterculture, once firmly associated with youth, have now literally 'come of age', and provide ways to think about notions of empowerment and resistance.

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