Othering and agency erosion of older adults living in extreme poverty in Bangladesh

Owasim Akram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Offering fresh perspectives on the lived experience of ageing in extreme poverty, this article delves into unpacking the relationally driven processes of social, institutional, and self-othering that contribute to agency erosion in older adults. Positing that the context of extreme poverty in which a person ages is micropolitically shaped, where society, institutions, and ageing self interact in a complex way, it is argued that ageing in extreme poverty, inter alia, means ageing in subaltern conditions. A critical consequence of this process is the subjugation of older adults, leading to a life marked by the state of ‘social death’. Additional research is needed to unpack such nuances to better understand ageing processes in extreme poor societies. This necessitates an approach informed by postcolonial perspectives that take into account the dynamics of othering and agency erosion. It concludes by asserting that to reverse extreme poverty among older adults as well as to reverse their subaltern conditions requires a political project that empowers the older adults in society, restores agency and strengthens their ‘relational security’.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101237
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Early online date4 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes

Data Availability Statement

The authors do not have permission to share data.


  • Ageing
  • Agency
  • Bangladesh
  • Extreme poverty
  • Marginalisation
  • Othering
  • Social death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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