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Aging Across the United States

Matching Needs to States' Differing Opportunities and Services

Charles Lockhart and Jean Giles-Sims

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Aging and Society, Volume 1

An Inventory of Research Findings

Selects, condenses, and organizes the entire body of social science research on human beings in their middle and later years. This volume summarizes empirically-tested generalizations from some three thousand research studies.

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Aging and Society, Volume 2

Aging and the Professions

Interprets the research findings on aging for professionals concerned with the prevention and treatment of problems associated with aging. Each chapter, written by an expert, deals with the field within the broad context of aging in contemporary society.

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Aging and Society, Volume 3

A Sociology of Age Stratification

Represents the first integrated effort to deal with age as a crucial variable in the social system. Of special interest to sociologists for whom the sociology of age seems destined to become a special field.

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Aging and the Indian Diaspora

Cosmopolitan Families in India and Abroad

Sarah Lamb

The proliferation of old age homes and increasing numbers of elderly living alone are startling new phenomena in India. These trends are related to extensive overseas migration and the transnational dispersal of families. In this moving and insightful account, Sarah Lamb shows that older persons are innovative agents in the processes of social-cultural change. Lamb's study probes debates and cultural assumptions in both India and the United States regarding how best to age; the proper social-moral relationship among individuals, genders, families, the market, and the state; and ways of finding meaning in the human life course.

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The Big Move

Life Between the Turning Points

With an Afterword by Margaret Morganroth Gullette. Anne M. Wyatt-Brown, Ruth Ray Karpen, and Helen Q. Kivnick

When her husband's ill health forces them to move into an assisted living facility, Anne Wyatt-Brown suddenly finds herself surrounded by elderly residents, mostly sick or disabled. In this short but provocative collection, distinguished gerontologists reflect on Anne's moving account of her transition from a vibrant, independent, and scholarly life to one that is quieter, slower, and that takes up considerably less space. By questioning notions of care and community, stigmas of aging, and the psychological factors involved in accepting assistance, this volume provides an instructive framework for thinking about aging, continued care, and our last big move.

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Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement

Vol. 23 (2004) through current issue

The Canadian Journal on Aging is a refereed, quarterly publication of the Canadian Association on Gerontology. It publishes manuscripts on aging concerned with biology, educational gerontology, health sciences, psychology, social sciences, and social policy and practice.

La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, revue trimestrielle dotée d’un comité de lecture; est l’organe de l’Association canadienne de gérontologie. La revue publie des articles sur le vieillissement dans les disciplines suivantes: biologie, gérontologie éducative, sciences de la santé, psychologie, sciences sociales et politiques et pratiques sociales. Les manuscrits sont acceptés ou refusés sur la recommandation des rédacteurs représentant chacune des cinq sections de l’ACG, et après consultation avec les membres du comité de lecture.

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Droits de vieillir et citoyenneté des aînés

Pour une perspective internationale

Le vieillissement de la population est l’une des mutations majeures du siècle dernier, dont les conséquences sont sans précédent dans l’histoire de l’humanité. Allant au-delà des constats sur le vieillissement démographique, les auteurs du présent ouvrage dépassent les rhétoriques statistique ou comptable et examinent le sujet à partir de la question des droits, de l’intervention publique et de l’action collective. Fruit de rencontres et d’échanges animés par le Réseau d’étude international sur l’âge, la citoyenneté et l’insertion socioéconomique (RÉIACTIS), cet ouvrage propose une réflexion structurée en trois parties. La première introduit le thème de la citoyenneté et des politiques publiques, avant que soit posée, dans un deuxième temps, la question du pouvoir des aînés sur leur environnement par leur participation politique et sociale. La troisième partie porte, quant à elle, sur la manière dont les sociétés contemporaines mettent en place des modèles générateurs d’intégration ou d’exclusion vis-à-vis différents groupes de la population âgée. Grâce à cette multiplicité de regards posés sur le droit de vieillir par plus de 40 chercheurs et experts issus de 10 pays, l’ouvrage appelle à maintenir une approche attentive aux multiples cadres structurants de l’action publique tout en considérant les réalités individuelles et propres à différentes sous-populations.

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Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People

Margaret Morganroth Gullette

When the term “ageism” was coined in 1969, many problems of exclusion seemed resolved by government programs like Social Security and Medicare. As people live longer lives, today’s great demotions of older people cut deeper into their self-worth and human relations, beyond the reach of law or public policy. In Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People, award-winning writer and cultural critic Margaret Morganroth Gullette confronts the offenders: the ways people aging past midlife are portrayed in the media, by adult offspring; the esthetics and politics of representation in photography, film, and theater; and the incitement to commit suicide for those with early signs of “dementia.”
 
In this original and important book, Gullette presents evidence of pervasive age-related assaults in contemporary societies and their chronic affects. The sudden onset of age-related shaming can occur anywhere—the shove in the street, the cold shoulder at the party, the deaf ear at the meeting, the shut-out by the personnel office or the obtuseness of a government. Turning intimate suffering into public grievances, Ending Ageism, Or How Not to Shoot Old People effectively and beautifully argues that overcoming ageism is the next imperative social movement of our time.

About the cover image:

This elegant, dignified figure--Leda Machado, a Cuban old enough to have seen the Revolution--once the center of a vast photo mural, is now a fragment on a ruined wall.  Ageism tears down the structures that all humans need to age well; to end it, a symbol of resilience offers us all brisk blue-sky energy. 
“Leda Antonia Machado” from “Wrinkles of the City, 2012.”
Piotr Trybalski / Trybalski.com. Courtesy of the artist.

Related website: (https://www.brandeis.edu/wsrc/scholars/profiles/gullette.html)

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A Generation of Change

A Profile of America's Older Population

A Generation of Change is an exceptional study of the nation's elderly, a population that has undergone profound changes in the years since World War II. As modern medicine extends the average life span and the baby boom generation begins to approach middle age, the number of older Americans is expected to more than double in the next century. Currently, 75 percent of U.S. health care expenditures go toward the elderly. But as national trends toward early retirement and low birthrate continue, an aging American population could face crises in meeting their financial and physical needs. According to Jacob S. Siegel in A Generation of Change, astute public planning must be informed by an understanding of the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the older population, as it is today and as it will be in the coming years.

Siegel employs census and survey data from 1950 through the mid-1980s to describe a population constantly shifting in its ethnic and gender composition, geographic distribution, marital and living arrangements, health, employment, and economic status. Surprisingly, there is tremendous disparity in the quality of life among the elderly. Although their average poverty rate is below that of the general population, there are dramatic levels of poverty among older women, who are far more likely than men to live alone or in institutions. As the elderly progress from the "young old" to the "aged old"—those over 85—sharp differences emerge as income and employment decrease and degrees of chronic illness increase. In addition, residential location influences the quality of health care and public assistance available to the elderly, an effect that may account for the marked migration of older people to Florida and Arizona.

Siegel analyzes the full range of characteristics for this heterogenous population and, through comparisons with other age groups as well as with the elderly of the previous decades, portrays the crucial influence of social and economic conditions over the life course on the quality of later life. With our elderly population growing more numerous and long lived, accurate information about them is increasingly essential. A Generation of Change will serve as a valuable resource for policymakers seeking more effective solutions in critical areas such as housing, long-term health care, and the funding of Social Security and retirement programs.

A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series

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