A critical examination of anti-aging discourse: the relevance of the works of michel foucault and susan sontag

Mortaş, Nihan
The main objective of this thesis is to develop a critical approach to the recent anti-aging discourse which has become popular after the 1990’s. Anti-aging movement is concerned with certain implementations which aspire to make individuals live longer and healthier by controlling and disciplining their bodily conditions and lifestyle choices. This study attempts to examine certain perceptions and assumptions of anti-aging discourse about body, living and keeping alive peculiar to late modern times by taking into consideration three popular emblematic anti-aging books. For this aim, the techniques, recommendations, suggestions and basic premises of popular anti-aging books are examined in terms of the question whether anti-aging discourse presents a new project concerning body and lifestyle, or not. In order to answer this question, Foucauldian theory on “the power over life” and Sontag’s approach to “the metaphorical representation of illness in late modern times” are employed for constructing the theoretical basis of this thesis. The examination of anti-aging discourse reveals that, this discourse redefines the meaning of age and reinterprets human temporality by narrating aging process with certain metaphors. Moreover, it is seen that anti-aging discourse transforms the aging process into a performative sphere by representing the aging as a merely biological and controllable situation.


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Citation Formats
N. Mortaş, “A critical examination of anti-aging discourse: the relevance of the works of michel foucault and susan sontag,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2008.