By Tulle Emmanuelle
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Extra info for Ageing, The Body and Social Change: Agency and Indentity Among Ageing Athletes
This cannot be done out of context however. I will therefore shift my investigation to a specific field – the field of athletics. I agree with Bourdieu that fields are where social action takes place and across which we rehearse and deepen our social or habitus position. Fields may lead us to alter or even transform our habitus because they act as turning points in, rather than homologies of, the wider system of distinctions. The athletic field, particularly long-distance running, may have the potential to disrupt structures of distinction.
Whether this will lead to a reconstruction of identity and will overturn the age habitus remains to be explored. Grant (2002) counsels caution, stressing the need to revisit what he calls the “too frequently prescribed formula that exercise supposedly leads to a good quality of life’’. This is a barely veiled, though underdeveloped, allusion to the postmodern discourse of ageing as active ageing and agelessness. Embodying Ageing 17 Concluding remarks This chapter has sought to “embody’’ ageing by drawing attention to the centrality of the body in understandings and experiences of ageing.
Bourdieu and Wacquant (1992) call this process “hexis’’, that is the embodiment of what he referred to as “political mythology’’, that is our symbolic capital or our position in the social hierarchy which is largely unquestioned. I would argue that age is another important structure through which “reflexive embodiment’’ is accomplished. I have already referred to the critique of Bourdieu’s sociology as lacking the potential for change. Crossley (2001b) concludes his own synthesis by suggesting that Bourdieu’s work could recover the potential for social change by giving greater place to the transgressive capability of social agents.
Ageing, The Body and Social Change: Agency and Indentity Among Ageing Athletes by Tulle Emmanuelle