Discussing the Interest in Age, Vitality, and Proximity in Dispersed Regional Communities

By Lisa McDonald.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 22, 2014 $US5.00

Flirting with maturity, I stand among furrowed brows. I’m attending a fair for older people and hope to make new connections. I mean to explore what seem like already settled terms: population, ageing, region, digital, technology, future. Yet each word is surely a sentence, with ‘future,’ a passage on its own. The setting is a church hall in the Queensland mountain city of Toowoomba. The hall fills early with stalls and spectators. I take a program and wander in. Expectantly, I scan the room and recall statistics. Approximately a quarter of older Australians live in smaller cities and towns, with one in seven of us now over the age of 65. I see nothing before me which troubles that view and read little to suggest anything but trouble─ legitimating older age in Australia tends to focus on infrastructure and services planning with economic demands firmly in view. But taking that practice as given, this exploratory paper seeks not to replicate the utilitarian view. It means to find openings for generative potential, and extract from the detail of older lives the intensities of interaction with space, place, and time; the foundations upon which new human mobilities are built. If regional Australia courts a ‘digital future,’ it is with interest (after Stengers) in local innovations and small events, sometimes beyond the human, which guarantees that future as an enduring presence.

Keywords: Age, Vitality, Place, Space, Time

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 12, Issue 2, December 2014, pp.23-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 22, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 581.604KB)).

Dr. Lisa McDonald

Mid-Career Research Fellow, Digital Futures-Collaborative Research Network, Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia