Friday, March 25, 2011

Queer Gerontology

Queering gerontology means to critically analyze the heterosexual norms shaping scholarship in gerontology. The idea is not new, but only a handful of authors have written about it (Mark Hughes, 2006). It reminds fairly unexplored.

Queering gerontology is a strategy, more than a concept. It is a strategy to raise questions, develop methodologies, and gather empirical data. It works as a set of lenses to look at gerontology. The goal is to unmask and deconstruct the ways in which heterosexual dominant norms define what it means to be of old age – from the decline of health to retiring and living in assisted facilities or nursing homes.

This strategy also implies making visible same sex desire, love, and relationships in old age. To make gerontology queer requires documenting the manner in which older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people live.

The queering of gerontology will not only create a critical stand and analysis, it will also help redefine the actual aging experience. It will inform policy changes, health care delivery, and housing.

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