New College Discussion: Denmark’s ‘Moral Imperative’ on Elder Health and Aging 

Published on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 by David Gulliver


Do citizens have a moral responsibility to be healthy? Bjarke Oxlund, an anthropologist from the University of Copenhagen, describes how the Danish welfare state reaches deep into people’s private lives, acting more like kin than government bureaucrats.

Prof. Bjarke Oxlund

Oxlund will discuss these issues in “State and Personhood in Denmark: Welfare Scripts of Healthy and Active Aging,” a lecture and discussion at New College of Florida on Thursday, May 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the College Hall Music Room. The talk, which is sponsored by the Teresa Jackson Weill Gerontology Fund, is open to the public.

Equipped with health education and disease prevention models, healthcare and social workers descend on older people in their homes to persuade them to change their individual habits and lifestyles.

Most Danes display a collective approval of the government’s role, which includes coaching citizens to lead healthy and active lives to the very end. Oxlund argues that living up to these “scripts” of healthy and active aging have become moral imperatives, according to which personhood and individual worth and worthiness are measured and evaluated.

Calendar Information:

“State and Personhood in Denmark: Welfare Scripts of Healthy and Active Aging”

Prof. Bjarke Oxlund, University of Copenhagen

Thursday, May 4, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

New College of Florida, College Hall Music Room

Free and open to the public

Sponsored by the Teresa Jackson Weill Gerontology Fund