Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-8bbf57454-lngfr Total loading time: 0.213 Render date: 2022-01-21T12:28:48.107Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

3 - Ageing and Gender

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 February 2021

Chris Gilleard
Affiliation:
University College London
Paul Higgs
Affiliation:
University College London
Get access

Summary

Sociological writing about class has been criticised for being gender neutral, in the sense that many writers focus on distributions of power, income and advantages that emerged from the workings of the productive economy, a set of institutions and processes that until recently was dominated by men's employment and the profitable returns on capital with scarcely any reference to the role of women (Marshall, 1994). In her seminal paper on women and class analysis, Stanworth (1984) went further and pointed out that this focus missed the importance of both women's employment and the role that gender played in creating the inequalities of power and reward. Retirement too was framed by the termination of men's formal engagement with the labour market. Women's domestic labour was less visible and was assumed to continue in a more or less uninterrupted fashion throughout their adult lives. This is evident in how women's experience of retirement was described as ‘twice as much husband and half as much money’. These lacunae in relation to the gendered nature of formal and informal work and its aftermath in post-working life began to be addressed by the social sciences in the wake of the second-wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s (Barker, 2015). Only in the last decades of the twentieth century did the role of gender in shaping difference and structuring inequality come to greater prominence with a greater recognition of the gendered nature of later life (Calasanti and Zajicek, 1993; Garner, 1999; Hooyman, 1999). While the focus of this research was initially based on treating ageing as a woman's issue, attention has since explored men's ageing as a relatively underresearched and under-theorised topic (King and Calasanti, 2013; Thompson and Bennett, 2017).

This chapter examines gender as a structured social division, a source of inequality that runs throughout the adult life course. Its realisation in later life will be explored through four themes. The first addresses the interaction between men's and women's paid work and their subsequent economic position in post-working life. The second examines the role of the household economy in maintaining and modifying older men and women's social capital. The third considers the differential experience of health and well-being among older men and women, while the fourth deals with the different representations of gender in later life in literature, the mass media and the market.

Type
Chapter
Information
Social Divisions and Later Life
Difference, Diversity and Inequality
, pp. 41 - 68
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Ageing and Gender
  • Chris Gilleard, University College London, Paul Higgs, University College London
  • Book: Social Divisions and Later Life
  • Online publication: 25 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.46692/9781447338611.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Ageing and Gender
  • Chris Gilleard, University College London, Paul Higgs, University College London
  • Book: Social Divisions and Later Life
  • Online publication: 25 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.46692/9781447338611.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Ageing and Gender
  • Chris Gilleard, University College London, Paul Higgs, University College London
  • Book: Social Divisions and Later Life
  • Online publication: 25 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.46692/9781447338611.004
Available formats
×