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Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences

hanna o.

Hanna Ojala

PhD (adult education), Docent/Adjunct Professor (gender studies), University Lecturer

Linna-building, room 5074

Note! Visiting Research Fellow in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland till 4th of November 2017

Research interests:

Gendered ageing; agency; intersectionality (gender, age and social class); men's ageing; etnography; interviewing


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Research projects:

Acting age and masculinity: An ethnographic study on ageing in men's groups (post doctoral project, 2011-)

This is an empirical study on men’s ageing from a gendered perspective in the context of ageing society. By taking a sociological approach to the roles of everyday interactions and groups, understanding of gendered bodies in the negotiation of ageing, and differential markings of social locations, this study explores the ways in which we tend to conceptualize age and its role in structuring relations between people and groups of people. As the populations are ageing, it is important to increase understanding of cultural processes of age and gendered ageing. For example considering ageing policies in ageing societies, these are heavily loaded with expectations of activeness and perceivable participation. There is no possibility, however, to participate abstractly in ageing society. Participation always takes it form as a part of everyday life, institutions and communities and, thus, as a part of interaction between individuals, groups and social structures, involving varying norms and cultural discourses. It is worth considering, however, how cultural arrangements that maintain privilege of young adulthood and middle age may enable engagement of the aged in actions advocated in active ageing policies and, thus, successful ageing.

The study has two main objectives. It is aimed at 1) exploring the ways in which age-related and gendered norms of bodily functioning (re)produce age-based relations, and 2) investigating the social and material formation of agency in the context of ageing society. Analysing how men negotiate their age in terms of belonging to their peer relations, and making distinctions from others, renders possible to approach the cultural discourses and practices of ageing. Specifically, it opens perspectives on how age and other intersections produce certain versions of ageing and how interpretations of age reproduce cultural age-based categories, age relations, and life-stages. By shedding light on those gendered and age-based possibilities and limitations related to acting as a competent member in community, the study builds understanding about the social and material formation of agency and opens up physical and embodied ageing as a phenomenon that is related to the politicality of the questions of the ageing society and active ageing.

Empirically the study is based on ethnographic fieldwork (e.g. observations, interviews and written texts) in two men’s leisure time groups: a deer hunting club and ‘yoga for blokes’-group.

MANage - A research project on men and ageing (2009-)

QPro - Psychosocial dimensions of treatment and care-decisions of localized prostate cancer (Pirkanmaa Cancer Association, 2012-2014)

QPro2 - Quality of life after treatments of localized prostate cancer (Cancer Society of Finland, 2015)

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Last update: 18.9.2017 17.25 Muokkaa

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