Resisting stratification? : arts practice and older adults

McCormick, Sheila ORCID: Resisting stratification? : arts practice and older adults , in: IFTR Annual Conference, August, 2014, University of Warwick. (Unpublished)

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According to recent government figures, 10 million people in the UK are over 65 years old. The latest projections are for 5½ million more elderly people in 20 years’ time and the number will have nearly doubled to around 19 million by 2050. These statistics have considerable consequences for public services. They are also significant when one considers the stratification of contemporary British society and its emphasis on economically active members -- as exemplified in George Osborne’s 2012/3 strivers not skivers rhetoric. A recent headline in The Daily Telegraph (a media outlet well known for its Conservative leanings) stated that the ‘NHS faces 'bankruptcy' over ageing population’. Similarly, the BBC news website produced a headline that read ‘Ageing population 'to strain NHS'’. This language is important for two reasons. Firstly, it points to a need within the National Health Service to find alternative strategies for health and wellbeing in relation to the elderly community. Secondly, it points to a growing tendency to blame a section of society for its ‘drain on services’. As part of a wider project on Applied Theatre and Ageing, it is hoped this paper will begin to question the social exclusion of our society’s older members and the response of arts practice to that exclusion. The project will focus on innovative practice that seeks not only to include but that also responds to a contemporary phenomenon, the extraordinary growth of a particular group in society, a group with complex social, health and wellbeing needs.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr Sheila McCormick
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 12:03
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 20:04

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