9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN01 Ageing in Europe

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Education, Knowledge and Ageing Building II, C5.08

Life extension as life long learning

The aim of this paper is to examine some questions about knowledge and the concept of "lifelong learning" raised during the work with my thesis. Questions to be discussed are whether everyday knowledge and information about how one ought to live in order to obtain a healthier and longer life can be viewed as a form of "life long learning". How can one interpret the field of life extension in aspects of education and governing strategies? With new technologies we are transforming the cyborg from the divergent to the normal. The study includes advisory literature from the 18th century till present times either written in, or translated to Swedish. In my thesis I explored discursive changes in conceptions of life course and ageing. In a sense life span embodies the boundaries of human existence, but furthermore, it symbolizes the system of reason of human existens in the name of the life-span. Hence, notions of the life span can reveal images and apprehensions of ageing and life itself. Meta level discourses of the life span provides information on apprehensions of the human existence. Historical handbooks, and literature on life-extension, provides interesting field for the study of ageing and humanity. My findings points out that we are approaching or constantly creating new ways of looking at and discipline the ageing process. The ageing process and the way to a longer life has become a field for educational strategies involving self technologies. Many of these technologies are founded on long lasting myths and legends that are constant even in contemporary advisory literature. The late modern model of advisory literature demands constant education and refection over life, identity and related fields. In this aspect our late modern lives have become a project of life long learning. Today we do not believe in pre-designated life-length we only believe in life extension. We do want the paradise but we want it here on earth, and we want to be in charge.