Research project During the 20th century attention on old age and the elderly increased. Ageing successively became a medical issue. What are the causes for ageing, is it possible to control, and how are the elderly to be taken care of – were some of the questions the researchers addressed.
Different historical views and notions on aging and old age have to some degree been uncovered by historical research. An ambiguous attitude towards old people has existed throughout the history of Western culture. On the one hand old age has rendered respect and old people have had a lot of power. On the other hand old people have in some respects been devalued. Historical research concerning aging and old age has in various ways tried to explain the often strikingly negative associations towards old age. One explanation has been found in the fact that old people in some periods and contexts have had a lot of power, on an institutional, economical and a symbolic level and that this has created generational tensions. In a Nordic context the traditional rural living arrangements have been discussed as a possible reason for devaluation and tensions between the generations. The aim of this study is to focus on notions and theories about aging within the medical sciences during the 20th century, mainly the period after 1946, the year when the Swedish Society for Research on Aging, was formed. It is noteworthy that during the same period similar societies for “gerontological” research were formed in other Western countries and the slogan “Add life to years, not years to life” became a gathering guiding star. In the study I will draw on the Swedish pathologist and aging researcher Folke Henschen (1881-1978). Henschen will be used as a point of departure, a kind of prism, to shed light on the research on aging during the mid and late part of the 20th century. The focus will be on Swedish research but as the scientists at this point in history were quite internationalised, international comparisons will be done. So far the empirical material on Henschen supports my assessment of him as quite representative for his time and scientific context. Some of the issues Henschen raised may be analytically associated to both theories of knowledge within the History of science and to gender theories.
Finansår , 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
huvudman: Anders Brändström, finansiar: Vetenskapsrådet, y2003: , y2004: , y2005: , y2006: , y2007: , y2008: , y2009: , y2010: , y2011: , y2012: , y2013: , y2014: , y2015: , y2016: , y2017: , y2018: , y2019: , y2020: ,