This article explores the concept of ‘risk’ in relation to the theoretical study of old age and welfare in Europe. Ideas related with what has been conceptualised as the ‘risk society’ (Beck, 1992) have, it might be argued, become part of the organising ground of how we define and position the ‘personal’ and ‘social spaces’ in which to grow old. This has startling continuities across Europe. These spaces have served to place the definition of what it means to be an older person – shifts from state care to individualised care (Phillipson and Powell, 2004). As Ulrich Beck (1992) claims, in the conditions of advanced modernity, growing old moves from being a collective to an individual experience and responsibility.
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 27)