The increase of longevity ‒ and of the chance to spend the third, fourth and fifth age in relatively good health ‒ appears today to favour the conditions to age positively, although self-handicapping ideas persist that depict this as a life period of mere decline. While the WHO supports agendas aimed to foster citizens’ active ageing, few studies have been conducted in order to gather how the elderly might gain a eurhythmic perspective on their own ageing in a political and social context characterised by the global crisis. Referring to the theory of Social Representations and adopting a qualitative methodology, this work analyses thirty episodic interviews carried out with Italian elderly people. Its aim is to reconstruct the themes that define ageing well and the positioning from which individuals construct their eurhythmic points of view. The results show that, living and reasoning on ageing well, the participants enhance in various ways: availability of resources; positive mental states; more functional life styles; being involved in activities. The comparison with the Alter evoked in the accounts (such as youth in precariousness or unhealthy people) appears to be the main organizing principle of points of view used to interpret one’s own ageing in favourable terms. Starting from these positioning, three bipolar dimensions emerged: autonomy/dependence; fragility/no fragility; good luck/bad luck. The paper closes reasoning on the potentials, but also on the limits, that the research activity may have to promote constructions of reality more functional and socially relevant.
Keywords: Ageing well, social representations, points of view, generative research