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Intersections of Aging : Readings in Social Gerontology

Intersections of Aging : Readings in Social Gerontology - 00 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195329803

Cover of Intersections of Aging : Readings in Social Gerontology 00 (ISBN 978-0195329803)
ISBN13: 978-0195329803
ISBN10: 0195329805
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 00
Publisher: Roxbury Publishing Co.
Published: 2000
International: No

List price: $105.95

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Intersections of Aging : Readings in Social Gerontology - 00 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195329803

Elizabeth W. Markson and Lisa A. Hollis-Sawyer

ISBN13: 978-0195329803
ISBN10: 0195329805
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 00
Publisher: Roxbury Publishing Co.

Published: 2000
International: No

Markson and Hollis-Sawyer's interdisciplinary, student-accessible anthology explores the diversity of experiences in aging - integrating ethnic, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, and historical variations throughout the book.

It provides students with compellingly written and challenging articles that will promote intellectual growth and increase understanding of aging and related issues.

The text examines the following questions:

  • How do race, ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic position shape the life course of older people's lives?
  • Is there one standard or many for "successful aging"?
  • Why do groups and individuals differ from one another in old age?
  • What are the prospects for the aged of tomorrow?
  • Intersections of Aging delves into these and other issues - combining academic and clinical articles with literary and personal accounts. It includes discussions of:
  • Historical, social, and cultural constructions of old age.
  • The importance of incorporating race, ethnicity, gender, and social class into models of aging.
  • How older people construct their self-concept, individuality, and actions in old age - and how this affects the meaning, value, and purpose of their lives.
  • Current health and well-being concerns.
  • Social and family relationships.
  • Work and retirement issues.
  • Policy and politics shaping old age.
  • Future directions in the 21st century.
  • Markson and Hollis-Sawyer provide articulate, intelligent introductions to each unit and each article.
  • This material provides a coherent framework for each article as well as a "road map" for students.

No other social gerontology anthology offers as much material on the interconnections between discrimination, diversity, and social class that shape the many ways in which we grow old - whatever our heritage may be.

Table of Contents


1. Images of Aging,

Jay Sokolovsky

Sokolovsky discusses the importance of culture in understanding how old age and gender are defined and how these designations affect people's options in later life.

2. Japan's Honorable Elders,

James S. O'Leary

O'Leary describes how industrialization and urbanization are changing the norms of filial piety in Japan.

3. "William" and the Old Folks,

Mike Hepworth

Hepworth contends that, although regarding the elderly as infantile alleviates younger people's anxiety about old age, so-called "childish" behavior in old age can free older people from constraining social norms.

4. Old Age as a Time of Decay,

Carole Haber

Haber, a historian, shows how old age in nineteenth-century America became defined as a medical condition without a cure.

5. The Sexless Years or Sex Rediscovered,

Benjamin Schlesinger

Schlesinger details how the concept of older people as asexual results in negative psychological and physical effects and gives others control over their lives and well-being.

6. The Age Boom,

Jack Rosenthal

Rosenthal shows how new lifestyles and improved health among today's elderly challenge traditional views of old age.

7. The Process of Successful Aging,

Margaret M. Baltes and Laura L. Carstensen

Baltes and Carstensen, arguing that the current concept of "successful aging" means not aging at all, propose that successful aging should be assessed as the individual mastery of goals resulting from three processes - selection, compensation, and optimization.


8. Gender Across Generations,

Margaret Hellie Huyck, Pninah Zucker, and Cheryl Angellaccio

Huyck and her associates examine developmental shifts in self-definitions of gender identity among a sample of male and female high-school graduates and their parents.

9. Definitions of Femininity: Youth to Old Age,

Barbara Formaniak Turner and Priyanthi Silva

Turner and Silva address variations in female gender identity among women ranging from youth to old age.

10. Narrative Accrual and the Life Course,

Marilyn Nouri and Marilyn Helterline

In their analysis of themes and gender scripts of elders' life histories, Nouri and Helterline detail the ways in which life reviews provide particularly rich opportunities to give not only factual reports about, but meaning to, life events.

11. My Mother's Music,

Lydia Minatoya

Minatoya's recounting of her mother's history brings to life ethnic, social class, and gender socialization in the life of a Japanese-American woman once interned as a potential saboteur by the U.S. government during World War II.

12. Adaptation of Oldest Old Black Americans,

Colleen L. Johnson

Johnson demonstrates how, rather than being placed in the "double jeopardy" often cited in reference to Black elders, very old Black Americans use their racial and ethnic identity as a source of strength, social support, and pride.

13. History, Race, and Attachment to Place,

William J. McAuley

McAuley sheds light on the importance of racially homogeneous communities not only in providing familiarity and comfort with one's surroundings but in reinforcing social ties and according self-esteem.

14. You Can Go Home Again,

Joan Weibel-Orlando

Weibel-Orlando relates how an elderly Sioux woman returned to her home reservation in South Dakota after years of absence to recreate her ethnic membership and gain leadership as a respected elder.

15. Falling Free,

Diana Chang

How an elderly Chinese-American woman seeks reaffirmation of her bicultural identity, to revitalize an earlier romance, and to remain buoyant and independent is the theme of this short story.

16. Having Our Say,

Sarah Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hearth

Sadie and Bessie Delany's personal accounts of their past and current lives as well-educated professional women span history from the Reconstruction period and the Harlem Renaissance up into the 1990s. Their stories show how the advantage of being high up in the hierarchy of social class intersects with the disadvantage of being low in the hierarchies of race and gender.


17. Incorporating Diversity,

Toni M. Calasanti

Using the example of retirement, Calasanti disentangles diversity from heterogeneity to examine the ways in which diverse groups' experiences of aging reveal significant and often ignored power relationships within a society.

18. Labor Force Trends and Aging Policy,

William H. Crown and Charles F. Longino, Jr.

Crown and Longino turn their attention to trends in the United States labor force and their ramifications for future policies affecting older workers
19. Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace,

Lisa A. Hollis-Sawyer

Hollis-Sawyer argues that employers, human resource managers, and public policy decision makers need to increase their support for career and work life extension among older workers through appropriate job design, workplace design, or both.

20. Puerto Rican Obituary,

Pedro Pietri

Pietri, a poet, ironically describes exploitation of the working class, broken dreams of success, discrimination, and cultural marginality associated with ethnicity, race, and class among Puerto Ricans living in New York City.

21. The Unbearable Lightness of Retirement,

Joel Savishinsky

Savishinsky directs attention to formal and informal rites of retirement and ways that retiring workers interpret their meaning.

22. Charles Hayes, 76 and Jessie de la Cruz, 74,

Studs Terkel

African American ex-Congressman Hayes and Chicana labor organizer de la Cruz describe how their work histories and retirement interweave with power inequalities.

23. A Lifetime of Work,

Katherine R. Allen and Victoria Chin-Sang

Allen and Chin-Sang address the ways in which the context and meaning of older, working-class African-American women's past work histories structure their post-retirement leisure activities.

24. Too Little, Too Late,

Kathleen McInnis-Dittrich

McInnis-Dittrich discusses the plight of rural, elderly, white, Appalachian men and women who have lived in lifelong poverty.


25. Same-sex and Cross-sex Relationships,

Hiroko Akiyama, Kathryn Elliott, and Toni Antonucci

Akiyama, Elliott, and Antonucci examine close relationships among spouses, children, siblings, and friends and gender differences in these relationships.

26. Able Elderly in the Family Context,

Gunhild O. Hagestad

Hagestad, contrasting the oldest-old and baby boomers, considers cohort differences in family relationships, gender patterns of behavior, and potentials for families and aging patterns.

27. Parenting in Later Life,

Marcene Goodman and Robert L. Rubinstein

Goodman and Rubinstein turn their attention to elderly mothers with only one child and the ways in which their beliefs and expectations about their child differ from mothers with several children.

28. Intergenerational Reciprocity,

Susan R. Sherman

Sherman examines what support and assistance white, working-class and lower-middle-class older parents expect from their children and what these respondents feel adult children should expect from their parents.

29. The Moths,

Helena Maria Viramontes

Viramontes narrates the story of a 14-year-old Chicano girl and her close connection with and care for her grandmother dying of cancer.

30. Research on Grandparenting,

Rachel Pruchno and Katrina W. Johnson

Pruchno and Johnson illuminate the many roles played by grandparents in American society and the gaps in current knowledge about grandparenting.

31. Influence of Ethnicity and Culture on Caregivers,

María P. Aranda and Bob G. Knight

Aranda and Knight discuss ethnic and racial variations in caregiving and caregiver stress and point out that differences in morbidity among ethnic and racial groups affect the types of disabilities, beliefs about appropriate treatment, and tasks caregivers perform.

32. A Mother and Daughter,

Tish Sommers and Laurie Shields

Sommers and Shields, addressing the role of women as caregivers, relate the caregiving experiences, stresses, and frustrations of a mother and daughter providing care to an elderly family member dying of cancer.

33. Gendered Caregiving of Husbands and Sons,

Edward H. Thompson, Jr.

Thompson argues that the common beliefs that men either do not provide adequate and dependable care or are incapable of providing it not only devalue the male managerial style of caregiving but perpetuate gender stereotypes.

34. Hand-me-down People,

Jennifer Hand and Patricia Reid

Hand and Reid, focusing on families who have provided round-the-clock care for their developmentally disabled relatives from childhood to old age, reveal the difficulties and dilemmas of finding appropriate care when the current aging caregiver dies or becomes incapacitated.


35. Ageism and Its Impact on Healthy Aging,

Lynda D. Grant

Grant, considering the effect of ageism on healthy aging, discusses how attitudes affect health care for the elderly and recommends changes that can be made.

36. Rural Navajo and Anglo Elders Aging Well,

Judith Bunnell Sellers

Sellers, using a life-history approach, examines cultural differences between Anglo and Navajo elders and their implications for health care.

37. Assessment of Geriatric Patients,

Patricia P. Barry

Barry, a specialist in geriatric medicine, provides information on the components that an assessment of elders should include to insure optimal functioning, including physical health, activities of daily living, and mental health.

38. Incipient Dementia: A Victim's Perspective,

Morris Friedell

Friedell's personal account of his diagnosis of dementia sheds light on what such a diagnosis means and how experiencing it can influence one's perspective on life.

39. Anticipatory Dementia and Well-being,

Lynne Gershenshon Hodgson and Stephen J. Cutler

Hodgson and Cutler, highlighting the effect of a parent's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease on their middle-aged children, show that those people whose parents have the disease are more likely to be depressed and fearful about their own likelihood of developing Alzheimer's.

40. Burdens and Boundaries,

Leslie A. Morgan and J. Kevin Eckert

Focusing on operators of small board-and-care homes and paraprofessionals working in nursing homes and home health care agencies, Morgan and Eckert address the issues of caregiver strain and psychological boundaries among paid workers providing long-term care.

41. Patrimony,

Philip Roth

In this excerpt, novelist Philip Roth gives a personal account of his experiences as son, caregiver, and mourner throughout his father's terminal illness and at his death.

42. Psychodynamic Perspective: Physician-assisted Suicide,

Philip R. Muskin

Muskin, focusing on thoughts and emotions that can underlie a patient's request to die, makes recommendations about the role of the primary-care physician and psychiatric consultant to find out what this request really means.

43. Health Care Struggle Between Young and Old,

Daniel Callahan

Callahan, an ethicist, argues that the escalating costs of health care require a consideration of reallocation of resources to enable the needs of the young to take precedence over those of the old.

44. Healthcare Costs Around the World,

Robert H. Binstock

Binstock examines data from around the world to explore whether high proportions of elderly in a nation increase health care expenditures or whether the structure of health care systems are more important.


45. Social Security and Aging Baby Boomers,

Eric R. Kingson

Kingson examines the many policy issues surrounding the threatened "shortfall" of the Social Security system predicted by some analysts.

46. Aging Population to Broaden Medicine,

Charles L. Longino, Jr.

Longino discusses the current patterns of medical care and possible modifications that would take better account of the health care needs of older Americans in the future.

47. New Challenges for Gerontology,

Meredith Minkler

Minkler addresses how the education and world-view of gerontologists need to change if we are to understand the multifaceted nature of aging within a diverse population.

48. Aging in the Twenty-first Century,

Matilda White Riley

In this concluding selection, Riley discusses the mismatch between diverse individuals and the social structures that influence the course of aging ("structural lag") and notes the many ways in which policies can be redirected to minimize the lag.

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