Social policy and the production of age norms for later life: The case of ageing policies in Chile

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Rodrigo González Velastín


Social policies have been recognised as guiding narratives that promote and legitimise certain models of ageing. This finding, however, has been achieved by studies focussed on the reality of developed countries. Furthermore, little is known about how social policies promote age norms for later life in the context of developing countries. This research addresses this knowledge gap and focusses on the Chilean case, paying particular attention to what age norms are promoted by the two national ageing policies implemented by this country in 1996 and 2012. A critical discourse analysis method was used to identify the ways in which each policy conceptualises ageing as a social problem and the prescriptive behaviours and expectations that each policy promotes regarding old age. Results indicate that a rhetorical evolution can be observed in the analysed period, as each policy promotes different later life depictions and social norms.


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