This biographical and, in part, phenomenological anthropology of older people in
post-industrial England illuminates a local and generationally specific communitarian critique
of and form of resistance against the process of individualisation. Rather than presenting communitarianism
conventionally as an abstract political ideology or set of ideas about locality, it
is conceptualised as emerging from and being reinforced by experiences of ageing, especially
bodily ageing. It these respects, the article responds positively to Tatjana Thelen and Cati Coe’s
call to take the anthropology of ageing out of its current condition of relative intellectual marginality,
by recognising ageing and its related care arrangements as key structuring features
within societies and political organisation and by treating them as a window onto understanding
broad-scale social and political processes.
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