Gateways of Ageing: Middle-class Senior Citizens in the National Capital Region of Delhi
Abstract This chapter explores new ways of ageing in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi. On the basis of different case studies I explore how urban developments influence ageing. The key focus is on the relation between urban change, class, and ageing. I argue that new elderscapes, which I understand as cultural spaces and sites that have emerged for and by older persons, are determined by the affiliation to class. The ethnographical material illustrates that new elderscapes are key sites for strengthening a middle-class identity at old age, reproducing social and economic differences in urban space. Environmental gerontological studies have often drawn attention to the marginalisation of elderly people in urban settings who cannot afford to take part in cultural or recreational activities. Societal exclusion of older persons is expected to rise under the influence of globalisation. However, my fieldwork shows that older people are not only subject to social demarcation processes but actively take part in them by distancing themselves from lower classes and by creating exclusive middle-class spaces. I argue that it is essential to keep in mind that the reproduction of class status is necessary at all ages and that segregation not only takes place between generations but also among them.
Keywords ageing, middle-class, India, urban, elderscapes