In Pursuit of Masculinity

On Aging Bodies, Migration and Youthful Masculinities

in Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities
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  • 1 Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany usman.mahar@lmu.de
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Abstract

In this article, I describe the roles played by society and individual life-history on the aging process of a South Asian artist in Europe. Using participant observation and the life-history method, I look at my informant's emotional practices of aging. The resultant case study delineates his emotional pursuits and his views on what it means to be a man in his early sixties. I start by reviewing anthropological critiques of many of the current taken-for-granted gendered and biomedical conceptions of the aging body. Thereafter, I try to add to the debate surrounding these conceptions by looking into the affective economy of aging that my informant is embedded in. The article is as such an effort to understand the role that affect and emotional practices play in youthful ideals and self-conceptualizations of aging and masculinity.

Contributor Notes

Usman Mahar is an early career researcher at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). He completed his graduate studies in social and medical anthropology at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg and his undergraduate studies at University College Utrecht. He is currently working on a German Research Foundation (DFG)–funded research project on (re)migration with Martin Sökefeld. Email: usman.mahar@lmu.de

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