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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Research Projects

Publication details

Moreira, T. & Palladino, P. (2009). Ageing between gerontology and biomedicine. Biosocieties 4(4): 348-365.

Author(s) from Durham


Over the past two decades, public interest in the basic biological processes underlying the phenomenon of ageing has grown considerably. New developments in biotechnology and health maintenance programmes appear to be forging new relationships between biology, medicine and the lives of older people. A number of social scientists describe the process as the ‘biomedicalization of aging’. In this article, we argue that contemporary biogerontology, an important sub-field of gerontology that could be construed as the primary actor in the process of ‘biomedicalization’, should be regarded instead as advancing a critique of biomedicine. We then provide a genealogy of the critique and close the argument by pointing to sources of uncertainty within biogerontology, which should be taken into account in any further studies of the relationship between biology, medicine and the lives of older people.

Department of Sociology