chapter  1
39 Pages

Introduction: Concepts of Age and the ‘Burden Narrative’ of Ageing

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, for more and more people in western societies the age-old dream of a long life has become a real possibility. But this global demographic trend has not been coupled with a discourse on the emerging cultural significance of ageing and old age. Rather, the phenomenon of mass longevity has typically been accompanied by a public debate that sees old age primarily as a problem to be solved by social and scientific means.