Living Old Film Analysis

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The theme ageism and the social construction of dependency from the film Living Old (2006) will be further explored in this essay. In Western societies, getting older is predominately viewed from a biomedical viewpoint, which perceives older people in terms of disease and disability, and constructs them as being dependent on others and a burden on society. These negative views generate fear, as evident in the film, and leads to ageism within society. Ageism exists on multiple levels, and is evident within neo-liberal social policy that promotes an environment of disadvantage for older people. For example, older people often have limited power to access financial means due to notions of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’. I will be arguing through …show more content…
This is reflected in Emmanuel’s (2014) article that argues growing old in today’s society no longer sees the person as an individual, however, rather as a burden on family and society that has diseases and disability. This heavily influenced biomedical viewpoint is extremely problematic and its repercussions for older people maintain the continual disadvantage and disempowerment of older people, by perpetuating ageism on a personal, institutional and systemic level. For instance, As Plath (2008, p. 1354) argues that in the contemporary neo-liberal social policy context independence is often defined by older people “making a valued and active contribution to the community” and “not relying on government income support”. Governments are making decisions about what constitutes notions of independence for older people’s, by way of restricting their access to financial means through the implementation of rigid means testing and by defining what older people are ‘deserving’ or ‘undeserving’ by what they have economically contributed to …show more content…
Notions of ‘active ageing’ come into composition with an emphasis placed on individuals, who from the biomedical perspective are viewed as “frail and disabled people in need of care”, “to realise their prospective for physical, social and psychological well-being throughout the life course” (Clarke and Warren, 2007, p. 477). The notion of the word ‘active’ is not anticipated to denote an older person’s capacity to be “physically active or to participate in the labour force, but to participate in society according to his or her needs, desires and capabilities” (Clarke and Warren, 2007, p. 477). Walker (2006) as citied in Clarke and Warren (2007, p. 466) has criticised the notion of ‘active ageing’ as narrowly focusing on older people’s involvement in the labour market; it was further noted that for effective ‘active ageing’ to take place a life-course approach was required that accounted for views that differentiated from neo-liberal accounts of ageing. There is a necessity to understand and acknowledge activity that looks outside financal, employment and physical capabilities to examine other ways in which older people can ‘actively age’ (Clarke and Warren, 2007, p. 483). The focus needs to be shifted away from this way of

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