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"It's all life:" An exploration of the eloquence of embodiment in postwar adults

Woodspring, Naomi

"It's all life:" An exploration of the eloquence of embodiment in postwar adults Thumbnail


Naomi Woodspring


In recent years, the academic field of gerontology has developed a newfound interest in the body. A curiosity about temporality, in its many manifestations: chronology, generation, rhythmicity, pace, anticipation, and history, to name a few, is growing in the social sciences. To date, no one has tackled ageing bodies embedded and embodied in time. This thesis explores time, embodiment, and identity as people come to know, experience and conceive of the bodily ageing process. The cohort, coming of age in the sixties timescape were in the centre of a social rupture. That era starkly exemplifies the importance of time and identity but is, by no means, a stand-alone event. The multiple aspects of the temporal dimension profoundly influence our expression and experience of ageing embodiment and meaning as expressed through identity. Yet, ageing is also a universal human experience. The collective experience of the postwar generation including the Bomb and Cold War, Earthrise, music and dance, the Pill, and the liberation movements have influenced expressions of physicality throughout the lifetime of this cohort. For this cohort, the experience of these events is now influencing the meaning of embodied ageing and identity. Body, time and the times of the postwar cohort are explored in this thesis. The inclusion of the intersection of time and body adds to our understanding of ageing.
Employing a systemic perspective and constructivist grounded theory methodology, this study reflects research that included rich interview data from a cross-class study of thirty adults born between 1945 – 1955. The study makes an original contribution to the field of social/cultural gerontology in its exploration of embodiment, time, and identity and the findings that result from that investigation. The concepts of deep time, relative time, and dynamic legacy in relationship to older people are illuminated as a result of this study.


Woodspring, N. "It's all life:" An exploration of the eloquence of embodiment in postwar adults. (Thesis). University of the West of England. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2019
Keywords ageing, body, time, identity, embodiment
Public URL
Award Date Aug 6, 2014


It's All Life An Exploration of the Eloquence of Embodiment in Postwar Adults.pdf (1.8 Mb)

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