Conceptual frameworks and emancipatory research in social gerontology.
Ageing and society, 21
It is argued that conflicts arise in social gerontology because conceptual frameworks are not sufficiently developed. Taking a broad definition of conceptual frameworks that includes political awareness, the paper argues that the theoretical works of Anne Phillips and Nancy Fraser have much to offer when applied to social gerontology. However it is essential first to theorise later life in terms of difference and diversity and potential conflict between concepts. The main argument is that when researching a devalued group such as elders, the political aspects of research cannot be ignored even when researchers aim to be ‘apolitical’, and that research will be helped by considering the politics of equality under the headings of universalism and particularism, convergence and recognition, cultural valorisation and redistribution and redress and transformation. These categories are not completely separate and may overlap. Just as aspects of disadvantage are complex and interact, so are the remedies or theorisations that can be deployed.
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