The Resources of Ageing: Middle-Aged Gay Men’s Accounts of Manchester’s Gay Voluntary Organizations (GVOs)

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Abstract

Middle-aged men’s experiences of gay voluntary organizations (GVOs) are neglected in research. To address this knowledge gap, this article extends Bourdieusian theorizing beyond that deployed by Hakim (2010) and Green (2008) concerning ‘erotic capital’ to demonstrate how norms in GVOs can facilitate or frustrate mobilization of ‘ageing capital’ by middle-aged gay men living in Manchester (UK), which has implications for comparable cities within and beyond a UK context. Based on interviews with 22 men aged 39-55, this article demonstrates how ‘ageing capital’ can facilitate challenge to gay ageism but also how such ageism can frustrate and even overwhelm men’s capacities to deploy ageing capital in generic GVOs, thus reinforcing intergenerational conflict and expression of ageism towards younger gay men. In doing so, this article contributes to knowledge about the reproduction of the relations of ageism in a particular field of gay existence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-383
JournalThe Sociological Review
Volume64
Issue number2
Early online date18 Mar 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2016

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