1st Edition

Ageing, Austerity, and Neoliberalism Lived Experiences of Older People in a De-Industrialised Town

By Amy Jones Copyright 2024
    190 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how neoliberalism and austerity have affected older people living within a deindustrialised town, utilising a Foucauldian approach and an ethnographic methodology.

    It seeks to bridge the gap between high sociological theory and a research focus upon older people. The link between the micro (real people, within a real place) and macro (abstract processes) is examined, and a mid-range theory of change is innovatively developed to highlight how older people are having to negotiate national transformations at the everyday level. Key themes within this book include the recreation of human subjectivity, antiwelfarism, the stigmatisation and exclusion of the poor, the fragmentation of the working class, and nostalgia. Innovative terms such as ‘stigma-adaptation’ and ‘abnormal abnormality’ are included to help deepen our knowledge and understanding of the social sciences, to highlight the injustices caused by current global processes, and to ultimately inform change.

    This book will be of interest to scholars and students across the social sciences, particularly those studying inequalities in the modern world, neoliberalism and the economy, social theory, ageing and older people and community studies, and postgraduates who are seeking to undertake applied research. It would also be valuable for policymakers and service providers.

    1. Introduction

    2. The fragmentation and stigmatisation of the working class

    3. The resistant ‘monsters’ of consumerism

    4. The irrevocable demise of the community?

    5. Conclusion and the contemporary shocks to the UK


    Amy Jones is currently a Sociology University Lecturer. She completed her PhD in 2019, which explored the impact of neoliberalism and the 2008 recession upon older people living within a deindustrialised town, which serves as the basis for this book. She has also completed a Research Fellowship at the University of Exeter, wherein she worked on a ‘Transforming Engagement’ project, which drew from the principles of C2 (Connecting Communities) and complexity theory, and measured (both quantitatively and qualitatively) the extent to which people in areas of deprivation experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. Amy’s areas of specialism are social theory, critical theory, research design and methods, ethnography, consumerism, inequalities, the economy, and community studies.