Learning to Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging
What does it mean to grow old in America today? Is 'successful aging' our responsibility? What will happen if we fail to 'grow old gracefully'? Especially for women, the onus on the aging population in the United States is growing rather than diminishing. Gender, race, and sexual orientation have been reinterpreted as socially constructed phenomena, yet aging is still seen through physically constructed lenses. The second edition of Margaret Cruikshank's Learning to Be Old helps put aging in a new light, neither romanticizing nor demonizing it. Featuring new research and analysis, expanded sections on gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender aging and critical gerontology, and an updated chapter on feminist gerontology, the second edition even more thoroughly than the first looks at the variety of different forces affecting the progress of aging. Cruikshank pays special attention to the fears and taboos, multicultural traditions, and the medicalization and politicization of natural processes that inform our understanding of age. Through it all, we learn a better way to inhabit our age whatever it is.
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Learning to be old: gender, culture, and agingUser Review - Book Verdict
Age discrimination is alive and well in America. Despite increased knowledge about aging and improved longevity, myths and stereotypes abound. This book's title refers to the need to dispel those myths and to see old age as characterized by new opportunities and the development of new talents and strengths. Gerontologist and women's studies expert Cruickshank (Ctr. on Aging, Univ. of Maine) examines the issues from a decidedly feminist viewpoint. She elaborates on two basic ideas: that aging is affected more by culture than by biological changes and that awareness of societal beliefs and customs about aging is essential if women are to achieve "comfortable aging." She also rails against "medicalization" and the overemphasis on bodily decline in old age. Cruickshank raises important issues, but at times her position might strike some as overly strident, as when she suggests that the aged are overmedicated as a result of an inappropriate relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and mainstream medicine. This thought-provoking book is recommended for academic social science and medical collections but would likely prove to be too dense for general readers.-Linda M.G. Katz, Drexel Univ. Health Sciences Libs., Philadelphia ...
Review: Learning to Be Old: Gender, Culture, and AgingUser Review - Goodreads
Must read. Countercultural gerontology. Politics. Medicare. Pharmaceutical companies & overmedication. I learned much about what I thought I already knew. Updated from 2003 version - academic but written in a style to appeal to all.
Chapter 01 Cultural Myths and Aging
Chapter 02 Fear of an Aging Population
Chapter 03 Sickness and Other Social Roles of Old People
Chapter 04 Overmedicating Old Americans
Chapter 05 Healthy Physical Aging
Chapter 06 The Politics of Healthy Aging
Chapter 07 Gender Class and Ethnicity