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Beyond Apocalyptic Demography: Towards a Moral Economy of Interdependence

Ageing & Society

Author: Robertson, A.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1997


Offers a moral language for social policy that provides an alternative to the argument that an aging population will lead to economic disaster because of increased social security & medical costs. It is argued that the dependence of the elderly is socially constructed because of a depoliticization of need & an individualist ethic, both of which are reflected in the rights-based language of modern social policy. The work of Michael Ignatieff (1984) is drawn on to assert that an alternative discourse of need can be developed through the construction of a moral economy of interdependence, which would introduce moral language into discussions of need. It is concluded that a moral economy of interdependence would decommodify reciprocity & need by recognizing the impossibility of weighing human exchange & lead to community-based elder policies.

Further Details

Full Title: Ageing & Society
Pages: 425-446
Volume: 17
Issue: 4
Accession Number: 27.5.03
Keywords: older, policy compliance
Reads: 217