Lecture by Prof. Masami Takahashi, Questioning "Anti-aging": Wrinkle Reduction without Getting Old? How Should We Think about Aging?

published: 2015-06-16

poster pdf
Download the Flier in Japanese (PDF)

Date:July 14, 2015 (Tue.) 18:00-19:30
Place:3rd Study Group Room, Gakujikan Hall, Kinugasa Campus, Ritsumeikan University
Host:Research Center for Ars Vivendi of Ritsumeikan University “Study Group on Narrative and Qualitative Studies concerning Ars Vivendi”
Co-hosts:A Society for Narrative and Qualitative Studies of the Japanese Psychological Association
A Special Interest Group for Narrative and Qualitative Studies of the Japan Society of Developmental Psychology
Participation: Free of Charge

* There is no parking available at the venue, so please use public transportation.

Event Overview

“Anti-aging” rhetoric is ubiquitous in our society from the entertainment industry to medical applications. The concept of “anti-aging” originally comes from “successful aging,” innocently introduced in the 1961 primarily to counter the earlier “misery perspective”—depicting aging as a mechanical/functional process that only deteriorates with time. However, this concept also instilled a fear that aging was a process that was to be avoided at any cost among the very population it was originally meant to uplift. Further, this fear is the primary psychological marketing tool for the ever-expanding line of “anti-aging” products that allegedly prevent or negate any signs of aging from a wrinkle to a strand of gray hairs. In this lecture Prof. Takahashi will criticize this functionalist premise that aging is essentially a process of quantitative deterioration and contend that this view fails to recognize any qualitative symbolic/meaning system (e.g., spirituality, inclusive wisdom, etc.) that may not have apparent functions yet may play a significant role in the well-being of older adults. Instead, Prof. Takahashi will argue that more inclusive theories (e.g., Erikson's epigenetic principle) should be advanced in order to take both the instrumental-communicative (function) and expressive-constitutive (structural) domains of actions.


18:00-18:10 Opening Address Yoko Yamada(Professor, Ritsumeikan University)
18:10-19:10 Lecture Masami Takahashi (Professor, Northeastern Illinois University)
19:10-19:30 Q & A


Administrative Office, Research Center for Ars Vivendi, Ritsumeikan University
56-1 Tojiinkita-machi, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8577
TEL: +81-75-465-8475
FAX: +81-75-465-8245