Women Ageing: Changing Identities, Challenging Myths

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Miriam Bernard, Val Harding Davies, Linda Machin, Judith Phillips
Routledge, Jun 22, 2005 - Medical - 224 pages
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Women Ageing provides a better understanding of what ageing is like for women and challenges the myths which have grown up around the ageing process. Blending the scholarly, the personal and the political, it reveals the range of strategies and identities women adopt to manage the transitions of the second half of the life course. In doing so it uncovers not only the commonalities and the similarities between mid-life and older women, but also some of the variation and diversity relating to ethnicity and race, class, disability and sexual orientation.
Women Ageing makes the ordinary lives of ordinary women as, in this instance, they grow older, more visible. Its findings have important implications for policy and practice. All those studying or working with older people, will find it an illuminating text.
 

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Contents

changing identities challenging myths
1
2 Womens work and the transition to retirement
23
caring workers
39
reflections on growing older
57
a time of private change to a mature identity
73
choices and challenges
93
7 Womens voices in bereavement
110
8 Widowhood in later life
127
9 Older women longterm marriage and care
148
changing policy challenging practice
168
Bibliography
179
Index
198
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Miriam Bernard, PhD, is Professor of Social Gerontology and founding Director of the Research Institute for Life Course Studies at Keele University and President of the British Society of Gerontology. She is a leading figure in social gerontology nationally and internationally, and an experienced and successful supervisor of PhD students. Dr. Bernard has long-standing research interests in women's lives as they age and in intergenerational relationships. Her recent research has focused primarily on the development of new and healthy lifestyles in later life. Dr. Bernard is the author/editor of 17 books and monographs, over 70 book chapters and journal articles, and many research reports. She is currently on the Editorial Boards of the "Journal of Intergenerational Relationships: Programs, Policy and Research" and Policy Press's new series "Aging and the Life Course.

Dr Linda Machin is a Visiting Research Fellow of Keele University, having been a Lecturer in Social Work and Counselling at Keele. She established a counselling service for the bereaved in North Staffordshire and continues to work as a researcher, a hospice counsellor and a freelance trainer.

Judith Phillips has spent more than forty years gardening in the Southwest and is still adapting. She is the owner of Judith Phillips Design Oasis, an ecosystem-inspired garden design and consulting service. She has designed thousands of residential gardens in New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona and has been fortunate to be involved in diverse public projects from habitat gardens at wildlife refuges and parks, to healing gardens at hospitals, courtyard gardens for townhomes and an historic inn, and outdoor classrooms for elementary schools. The common ground is luring people outdoors to spend time with plants. As a part-time faculty member in the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of New Mexico her class focuses on native and climate-adapted plants for arid landscapes, hopefully inspiring a new generation of ecodesigners. She has contributed to many books, and is the author of "New Mexico Gardener's Guide", "Southwestern Landscaping with Native Plants", "Natural by Design", and "Plants for Natural Gardens".

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