Learning to Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging


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Author: Cruikshank University of Maine Women's Studies (retired), Margaret

Edition: Third


  • Rowman Littlefield Publishers

Number Of Pages: 296

EAN: 9781442213654

Release Date: 14-02-2013

Languages: English

Item Condition: UsedAcceptable

Binding: Paperback

Details: Product Description Margaret Cruikshank's Learning to Be Old examines what it means to grow old in America today. The book questions social myths and fears about aging, sickness and the other social roles of the elderly, the over-medicalization of many older people, and ageism. Among texts on aging the book is unique in its clear focus on the differences in aging for women and men, as well as for people in different socioeconomic groups. Key updates include changes in the health care system, changes in how long older Americans are working especially given the impact of the recession, and new material on the brain and mind-body interconnections. Review Doug Kimmel, writing in the Division 44 Newsletter, Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, a division of the American Psychological Association: This third edition of Cruikshank's widely-used text makes two main points: 'The first is that aging in North America is shaped more by culture than biology, more by beliefs, customs, and traditions than by bodily changes. In other words, it is socially constructed. The second is that awareness of social constructions and resistance to them is crucial for women's comfortable aging.' She develops these two themes while making significant important points about countercultural gerontology and presents a feminist's view of aging. . . . This book is a useful tool to challenge student thinking about conventional views of aging and to help them broaden their horizons about ethnicity, race, class, sexual orientation, and aging from the standpoint of an old lesbian who is not about to go quietly into that good night. ( Division 44 Newsletter, American Psychological Association) Compared to traditional aging texts, Learning to Be Old is superior in that it conveys a critical point of view that is rarely present in most texts. (Catherine S. Murray, Saint Joseph's University) This book is unique, in that it 'gets at' the socially-constructed nature of aging better than any other book I've worked with. Cruikshank does a particularly good job of examining and discussing these differences as they relate to the experience of aging. (Jan Burhmann, Illinois College) A compelling book that reminds us, among other things, that 'the personal is political' when we study women and aging. (Terri Promo, University of Cincinnati) Cruikshank's writing is accessible and timely; she expertly shows how 'old' is a socially scripted reality in an ageist society. (Meika Loe, Colgate University; author of Aging Our Way: Independent Lives, Interdependent Realities) Learning to Be Old is a book as bold as its title. I have tremendous gratitude for the way Margaret Cruikshank rescues readers from societally induced self-blame. She sends us on our way better able to spend our final decades in informed, conscious, and competent ways, resisting the forces that discount us, but never discounting the reality of aging itself. Cruikshank is a welcome author for people who want to get beyond Hallmark simplicities and be accompanied honestly through the aging process by a vibrant scholar and staunch ally. (Peggy McIntosh, associate director, Wellesley College Center for Research on Women and author of "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack") Hard-hitting, crystal-clear, packed with information and zesty quotations, Learning to Be Old deserves its popularity. It is the best introduction to age at the intersections – gender, race, class, sexuality – that a general reader could want. It uncovers a wide range of urgent issues – the minefields of American ageism that younger people need to know about before they get there. (Margaret Morganroth Gullette, Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis University; author of Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America) In Learning to be Old, Margaret Cruikshank successfully “imagines new ways of understanding and experiencing late life,” with a substantial amount of suppor

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