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Title: The invisible dreamer : performing identities, ageing and cultures through time
Author: Ferguson, Joyce
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 5207
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2004
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Adopting a poststructural feminist approach, this narrative arts-based study uses experimental writing to investigate the discursive construction of old women in the United Kingdom during the twenty-first century. Through active engagement with current media representations, the research investigates limiting stereotypes of old women while developing disruptive storylines that write into existence challenging new subject positions. Through exploring the outer reaches of inner space, by writing in 'real-time' into the immediacy of the unfolding financial crisis that exploded into consciousness in 2008, while simultaneously researching into a previously unknown family history, the research explores how multiple age- identities are shaped, both in the short term by the immediate needs of political power groupings and, in the long term, by geography, memory, ancestral heritage, language and underlying subconscious murmurings which surface through the writing. In examining twenty-first century identity creation, the research uses text and images readily available on the Internet, while the family history involves semi-remembered stories, microfiches in old libraries, wanderings through ancestral landscapes, and writing in the almost forgotten language of childhood and homeland. Woven into the research is an autoethnographic account of being caught in the very web of age subjectification being explored. Several open-ended questions guide this process. (1) By exploring fictional/journalistic discursive practices at the intersection of age and gender, is it possible to develop an increased awareness of the processes that write old women into existence? (2) By examining the subject positions presented to old women, can a clearer understanding be generated of how these representations not only limit, but also enable, subversive or transgressive age/gender/sex identities? (3) To what degree can experimental fictional and autoethnographic writing create an increased awareness of one's own experiences of being personally, culturally and historically constructed as an old woman? (4) What place humour in academic research? ii.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available