Carrie Ryan

Carrie Ryan

DPhil Student

Oriel College

Thesis Title: The Risk of Death: Aging and Care in America

Carrie’s dissertation explores both the personal and political implications of risk thinking on elder experience and care in twenty first century, neoliberal America. In the context of a growing moral panic around the aging boom, her research in particular examines how elders, framed as threats to the nation, are tasked to take responsibility for, to plan and to personalize their aging and dying futures. Deciding how one wants to age and to die is difficult; moreover, aging and dying processes often belie neat plans. Therefore she considers how elders navigate the dilemma of needing to manage bodily futures while living in unwieldy and interdependent bodies. She also contemplates how local care practices understand aging and dying as a vulnerable and social process. Drawing on twenty months of fieldwork where she lived and worked at a Los Angeles Continuing Care Retirement Community, Carrie rethinks the aging body as a site of possibility instead of threat.    

Other interests: ethics, ethnographic writing, existential and psychological anthropology, critical theory

List of site pages