Embodied ageing and categorisation work amongst retirees in the Faroe Islands

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This paper addresses ageing and embodiment and explores how age is negotiated in interaction using Membership Categorisation Work. Data were derived from group and individual interviews with home-dwelling retirees in the Faroe Islands. The analysis showed that the interviewees negotiated age by drawing on two contrasting categories, placing themselves and others in the categories of ‘old’ or ‘not old’. Good health was the main predicate tied to the category ‘not old’ and keeping busy and taking care of oneself were the main activities that the interviewees ascribed to the category ‘not old’. The analysis also demonstrated how health as a moral discourse was actualised during the interviews. Staying active and in good health were not just talked about as ways to achieve personal well-being. The interviewees talked about having a responsibility to stay ‘fit’ for as long as possible to avoid being a burden to the society or to their families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • embodied ageing
  • Categorisation
  • negotiating age
  • retirees


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