a1 Centre for Applied English Language Studies, University of Wales College of Cardiff, P0 Box 9, Cardiff, CFi 3XE, UK.
Micro-analyses of talk in context can expose people's activation and evaluation of age categorisations, as personal and social identities, during interactional exchanges. In this paper, we briefly overview our own discourse analytic research, which has been concerned with the management of age and health identities in across- and within- generation talk. In the body of the paper, we then document the operation of identity-management processes in a single-case analysis, from a video-recorded corpus. We focus on one elderly woman's participation in two conversations, in the course of which vividly contrasting age identities are constructed for and by her, conversationally. This qualitative perspective on real-time interaction offers clear evidence of social practices (here, simply talk) being constitutive of ageing itself.