Never too late for pleasure: Aging, neoliberalism, and the politics of potentiality in Denmark – Københavns Universitet

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Institut for Antropologi > Forskning > Publikationsomtaler > Never too late for ple...

16. november 2017

Never too late for pleasure: Aging, neoliberalism, and the politics of potentiality in Denmark

Henrik Hvenegaard Mikkelsen has published the article 'Never too late for pleasure: Aging, neoliberalism, and the politics of potentiality in Denmark' in the journal American Ethnologist.

The article stresses how health promotion in the Danish welfare state increasingly consists of helping people to identify and realize their inner potential for health and happiness. Such a "politics of potentiality" might seem to reflect the widespread neoliberal economic deregulation and austerity policies that have in recent decades marked public health sectors throughout the industrialized world. But in the encounter between the Danish state and its aging citizens, all moral demands converge on the imperative of identifying how citizens may become subjects who live up to certain definitions of what constitutes pleasure and self-realization. This represents an instantiation of neoliberal health promotion that targets the sense of loss that people associate with their unactualized potentials - their unlived lives.

Henrik Hvenegaard Mikkelsen, Never too late for pleasure: Aging, neoliberalism, and the politics of potentiality in Denmark, American Ethnologist, vol. 44, 2017.