BILLIARDS, RHYTHMS, COLLECTIVES

Abstract

Building on an ethnographic study of older men playing billiards at an activity centre as well as document analysis of how the concept of activity has changed during the last sixty years, this article argues that active ageing policies have overlooked that activities are culturally significant forms of practice situated in socio-material collectives. Active ageing policies create a hierarchy amongst activities, wherein constant physical activity is at the core of a healthy old age. But in billiards, activity and passivity are meticulously composed into a rhythm that enables the players to engage for hours and that thus produces a collective practice. The article concludes that activity and passivity are entangled, and a game such as billiards contains qualities that could be translated into a revised active ageing policy.

Keywords

everyday practices, culturally significant activities, activity-passivity entanglement, older people, active ageing

How to Cite

Lassen, A. J., (2014) “BILLIARDS, RHYTHMS, COLLECTIVES”, Ethnologia Europaea 44(1), p.57-74. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1121

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.

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Authors

Aske Juul Lassen (University of Copenhagen)

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