In konsumeristskoy culture advertised media image of youthful, slender body is in seeming contradiction with the life of bodies belonging to the "third age". Relation to the senile body in many ways fits into the formula that brought Baudrillard. "Old age has only a marginal and highly antisocial particle of life."1 With all the radicalism of this statement, it pretends to best express the meaning of the ratio of modern Western culture to the bodies of the "third age". Let us consider more closely the processes that give the right to formulate such statements.
In traditionalist cultures, old age was an exotic phenomenon. Old men were few, and they were regarded as those who have a wealth of life experience and authority. Being old is also meant to have public recognition and hold power in their hands. "Blagogovenienie of old age was at the heart of patriarchal life."2 According to Elias Canetti, it makes sense to liken the elderly survivors. "The elders — men who, after a certain number of years are still alive, are highly respected already among primitive peoples. Usually people are dying out there much earlier life there is more dangerous than us, they are more than we do, exposed to disease. It takes effort to reach a certain age, and it is rewarded. Old people are not only more aware, not only learned a lot of experience from the experienced situations, they have been tested, as evidenced by the very fact that they are alive. "3 Old age, as it says Canetti, at least, aging men, pleasant and honorable. A similar mood dominates in the famous book of Cicero, who calls old age "quiet" and "nice."4
Old age is like a massive cultural phenomenon — a "discovery" of the modern era. At its source lies, above all, factory labor and the crisis of large patriarchal family. To a large extent we can say that old age — is one of the most obvious effects of modernization. The number of older people in society continually growing, it took a protracted economic recovery XIX and XX century a large part. It took a steady population growth and unprecedented first splash in the urban population. Needless to say that the key to the "discovery" of old age in the XX century were also advances in health care.
Old age — it is also a population effect. Talk about old age has become possible only when talking about the "aging of" population leading industrial powers. While there was no conscious idea of the population of old age is not out of the question. According to Foucault's interest in the subject population in the West, there was the beginning of the XIX century, when first introduced subjects such as political economy, demography and statistics, formed when modern methods of governance.5 With this knowledge, the government began to learn about the cycles of high birth and death rates in the population, the laws of its existence and, of course, about old age.
Until recently, the problem of old age was not manifested. Old men, how many of them were not, were separated from the rest of the world closed vaults of their families. Industrialism has destroyed these traditional frameworks. Among them was identified fragments of old age in his pathetic weakness. In the rapidly changing world of work and rejuvenating experience, and the elderly to be unnecessary. If he was applying, then, as a rule, in agriculture and in depressive areas of the economy.6 In general, industrialism led to the transformation of the world in the age of social practices to avoid. According to E. Yarskaya-Smirnova, "social exclusion — is a process of deprivation of social actors from the prestigious, socially approved values, accompanied by the stigmatization of individuals or social groups, leading to self-isolation, marginalization and identity reflected in patterns of social behavior"7. Being cut off from the prestigious spheres of social production, from material and spiritual wealth of society, from government, media and other resources, the elderly have come to the attention of knowledge. In other words, the current knowledge about old age, and in particular, the senile body, has grown on the basis of exclusionary practices.
Territory of which was to grow the current knowledge about the bodies of the "third age", made of Gerontology discourse, the discourse of both positive and critical. "Gerontology was at the crossroads of science and has attracted many different specialists — from studying aging at the level of molecules and cells leading to socio-demographic policy of the state"8. Gerontology has introduced the phenomenon of old age in a coherent system of concepts, gave the first comprehensive understanding of their facility as part of our culture, but the main thing — drew attention to the real problems that accompany the old man in the modern world. First of 'all gerontology spoke about discrimination senile bodies, which takes place in industrialized societies. In many ways it led gerontology about the specific needs of the "third age" and prepared public opinion for a humanistic perception of these needs. Here is an example.
Among the practices of exclusion and discrimination senile bodies that prevailed in the West in the XIX and XX centuries, paying particular attention to themselves practice of placing people, "the third age" in the nursing home. The very architectural organization of these institutions are usually made far beyond the city limits, blocked almost every opportunity to return to the old man into the world of active social contacts. Even equipped with some means of communication with his nursing home closed perimeter was conceived by its inhabitants as a place of literal alienation of human beings from the world.
Gerontological theorizing with regard to age and conditions of the elderly in isolation led to a considerable shift. First, sounded extremely important point: "Old age — it's not a disease"9. Second, a belief that, because not all old people are in need of systematic medical care, but many who are quite capable of self-reliance, the housing and the organization of their life must be built differently. For example, homes in big cities, with a constant tendency to expand the area can remain within the city limits, and the goal of all housing design should be to ensure a high comfort, providing a record of all the needs of the old man.10 Gerontologists reasonable to insist on the fact that the liberalization of regulations in nursing homes and the creation of an enabling environment will need to facilitate the return of an old man in a world of opportunities, but with the need to preserve his right to privacy, so valuable for the elderly. Thus, old age was discovered, not only as a problem but as a reality that was necessary to withdraw from the ghetto of the industrial world, establishing it being reported to the reality of public and socially approved existence.
What brought this Gerontological shift? To many things, above all, the desire of socialized old age. World senile body began to explore the tools of biomedical knowledge: there geriatrics, began to explore the genetic and hygiene factors of longevity11, applied to the study of the physiology of aging12. Representatives of the "third age" is actively involved in political activities, showing itself as a powerful political force able to defend their vested interests. In this case, the West has developed an interesting pattern: the elderly, although sometimes create special political parties usually prefer to join in community and regional organizations in the community, supporting the natural attraction of people to unobtrusively collectivism.13 Along with the medicalization and politicization in the late XX century, there is an economic and socialization age: to attract the feasible work, the organization of financial incentives, work pension funds, etc. In times of crisis Russia 90-ies of XX century, all three types of social-gerontologo strategies are in poor condition14. Wherever the economic potential of the company is inadequate, old age becomes a bad infinity of survival, followed by poverty, poverty, poor conditions of service, etc. Drinking age at industrialism and then put to the test on the goodwill and tolerance.
Compared with the way refers to the age of industrialism and all the early modernist culture, konsumeristskoe related to old age, certainly seems more humane. When consumerism perception of old age and old body is no longer openly hostile, but it can not be called benevolent. Replicability of the means of mass media ideology beautiful young body induces a negative evaluation of everything that contradicts this age: wrinkled skin, dental defects, sparse, gray hair, that is, the physical signs of aging. There is no public statements against old age, but a mass produced way fastidious rejection of those values that make up the image of senile body. Indirect discrimination occurs.
Konsumeristskoy discrimination on the basis of senile body develops a new practice of avoiding old age. Now old age does not shy away from public institutions, and each individual member of society. Old age does not preclude a space isolated as before, and want to destroy in himself. The current generation of older people in the West desperately seeks longer stay in the ranks of the sexually attractive and active generation is vital, not giving way to young15. Once again, there is a reversal to the dreams of eternal youth. But now the youth is understood literally as a youth possession of a young body.
Proclaiming the idea that old age — it's not a disease, modern thinking is not quite able to protect it under the onslaught of consumerism. This follows from the very interpretations of old age and illness, rooted in a more fundamental understanding of Life and Death. Starting from Bisha, biomedical knowledge is considering the aging process, as well as pathological processes, namely, how the dynamics of Life and Death, as the collision of two types of perseverance, of which the last over time invariably overrule the first. As with illness, old age is the invasion of the territory of the Death of Life.
Bisha first differentiated between a "natural" and "violent" death. The first — a death from old age, and the second — the death of the body, or sudden shocks from illness16. There are two kinds of death, each of which causes aversion konsumeristskoy culture. "The violent death" is perceived as a "social scandal"17, as an unfortunate failure in safety systems, as something that can and must be prevented. The main tool to prevent "violent death" today is the medicine. Therefore, "to die" now means usually die under close medical supervision18.
In this sense, the normal should be considered a "natural death" — a quiet and calm, which came well after the termination of an active social life. But the sensitivity konsumeristskoy culture does not stand and the variety of Death. After all, "natural death" — a death slowly dying body, the latter, so to speak, the point in the history of personal extinction. Consumerism, however, does not tolerate this extinction as too modest consumption of Life. It imposes a high speed bodies of existence, sets the rapid pace of consumption. In the world there is a replacement konsumeristskom senile body as a living too sluggish.
On the day when Abraham died, he passed away, "old man and full of life '19. Millions of people died earlier periods as well, like Abraham, having had enough of Life, having solved all the puzzles and experiencing all the experiences that could give them their life. Ancient people standing in a circle of organic life, which was exhausted just accidents of birth, youth, maturity, old age, death. From now on, everything changed. Modern man no longer stands in the circle. Culture throws it into a stream of new and upcoming events, and no one can be satisfied and satiated Life. Now life does not seem too, long. People do not have time to learn, see and experience a lot of what they might be available. Therefore, even a "natural death" looks too brutal, senseless and untimely.
For the same reason, and old age as a visible harbinger of death, it looks terrible. In addition, old age — is no longer the capital that can be exchanged for power and respect in the society. Those years are not converted in the body to witness resistance against various shocks. They can only disappointment counting, lamenting that the number of these years have always been too high. In a very real sense, the years — it's always been extra years. These are what prevent the eternal youth.
That is why the symptoms of old age just as depressing as the symptoms of the disease. When consumerism old age — it's the same disease, which, alas, can not be done away with. However, it is consumerism offers the cure for old age — gym, diet and vitamin narcissistic flight to themselves.
When asked to research the Bisha physiology of aging, he not only made a distinction between two types of Death, but also between the two types of Life — "animal" and "organic." Under the influence of the social environment "animal life" in a person stops faster. This is aging. "A person living in a society that enjoys an excess of animal life, the springs which get tired much larger than the spring of organic life. All wear in this life under the influence of the public: vision — artificial lighting, sound — too often repetitive sounds, and especially the word … we abuse animal life, the nature of it lies in the boundaries that we are too extended for the duration assigned to it "20. According to Bisha, the more intense cultural activity of man, the sooner it stops the animal life, and he falls into a mere vegetative existence. In other words, the causes of accelerated aging is exorbitant involvement in community activities, adverse effects of the urban environment, acquired bad habits, etc.
At the terribly distant orbit konsumeristskoe modern attitude to old age intersects with the trajectory of these thoughts Bisha. Anyone who wishes to postpone the death of his "animal life", must embark on a battle for creative longevity. Among all the social ideals of the ideal creative longevity supersedes all others. Prized now not just life, not even a long life, but active, busy life in the mind and body health. At the same time strengthens the confidence that if we can protect ourselves from the social turmoil, the old age, and death does not come close to us too quickly. For creative longevity, for a youth pay the highest tension of all forces and maintaining readiness to always be alert to himself. As in the case of anorexia, when it was a question of control over their own body weight, played the same pattern. In today's world, when a person has reduced the chances of controlling the abstract socio-economic and military-technical systems, it begins to practice hard self-control.
Konsumeristsky world — a world of continuous updates. People's desire to slow down the progress of his time of life — it is believed to be one of the possible answers to the speed of the surrounding changes. In this sense, konsumeristskie body, of course, are not located in his old age, as well as all konsumeristskaya culture. For the culture of this type of aging of the body — too quickly defeated man in a clash with the world and its evil genius — Death.
For previous articles:
A body without excess weight. Case of Anorexia Nervosa
Mass media heavy body like a phantom Homo Immortalis
1 Baudrillard J. Symbolic Exchange and Death. P. 163.
2 Elyutina ME Gerontological direction in the structure of human existence. Saratov, 1999. C.22.
3 E. Canetti's Crowds and Power. Moscow, 1997. S. 270.
4 Cicero. On Old Age, I, 2.
5 Foucault M. Governmentality / / The Foucault Effect: Studies in Govermentality / Ed. G. Burchell et al. London: Routledge, 1991. P. 87-104.
6 Dyskin AA, AL Reshetyuk Health and Work in the elderly. L., 1988. S. 131
7 Iarskaia-Smirnov E. Socio-Cultural Analysis atypical. Saratov, 1997. S. 124-125
8 Living and elderly people. / Ed. DF Chebotarev. Moscow, 1978. C. 3.
9 Gregor A. Not to age — is an art. Moscow, 1986. S. 71.
10 The living and elderly people. S. 282-302; Architectural habitat disabled and the elderly. Moscow, 1989.
11 Cannabis EF Talchuk AA, Mikulic, A., GD Berdyshev Hereditary and social hygiene factors of longevity. Minsk, 1986
12 Frolkis VV Aging and increase longevity. L., 1988.
13 Culter S. Aging and Volunatory Association Participation / / Journal of Gerontology. 1977. Vol. 32 (4). P. 470-479.
14 Elyutina ME Gerontological direction in the structure of human existence. S. 83.
15 Mellor Ph. and Shilling C. Modernity, Self-identity and Sequestration of Death / / Sociology. 1993. Vol. 27. P. 423.
16 Bisha. Physiological studies on the life and death. S. 136-137.
17 Baudrillard J. Symbolic Exchange and Death. P. 162.
18 F. Ares man in the face of death. S. 478-483.
19 Genesis 25: 8.
20 Bisha. Physiological studies on the life and death. S. 132.