Gerontology

Download e-book for iPad: Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America by Margaret Morganroth Gullette

By Margaret Morganroth Gullette

ISBN-10: 0226310736

ISBN-13: 9780226310732

Let’s face it: virtually everyone fears getting old. We fear approximately wasting our appears, our future health, our jobs, our self-esteem—and being supplanted in paintings and love by means of more youthful humans. It sounds like the common, inevitable end result of the passing years, yet what if it’s no longer? What if approximately every little thing that we expect of because the “natural” technique of getting older is whatever yet?   In Agewise, well known cultural critic Margaret Morganroth Gullette finds that a lot of what we dread approximately getting older is absolutely the results of ageism—which we will be able to, and will, conflict as strongly as we do racism, sexism, and other kinds of bigotry. Drawing on provocative and under-reported facts from biomedicine, literature, economics, and private tales, Gullette probes the ageism that drives discontent with bodies, our selves, and our accomplishments—and makes us effortless prey for dealers who are looking to promote us an illusory imaginative and prescient of younger perfection. Even worse, rampant ageism motives society to undefined, and now and then thoroughly discard, the knowledge and adventure bought by means of humans over the process maturity. The costs—both collective and personal—of this tradition of decline are virtually incalculable, diminishing our crew, robbing more youthful humans of desire for a good later lifestyles, and eroding the satisfactions and feel of productiveness that are supposed to animate our later years.   after we open our eyes to the pervasiveness of ageism, even though, we will be able to start to struggle it—and Gullette lays out bold plans for the entire existence direction, from educating kids anti-ageism to fortifying the social defense nets, and hence eventually making attainable the true pleasures and possibilities promised through the recent toughness. A bracing, arguable name to palms, Agewise will shock, enlighten, and, probably most crucial, convey desire to readers of every age.

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Sample text

I don’t believe he would have chosen suicide, but I wish he had had options about the manner of his dying. Carolyn talked about voluntary death a great deal, according to a mutual friend who wishes to remain anonymous, but mainly she talked about others: people with degenerative diseases who wished to time their dying to avoid the worst. The surcease, or preemptive, suicide is the main example of a “rational” suicide. Nevertheless, her friend was concerned. She recalled this in an e-mail to me in October 2004: “We The Mystery of Carolyn Heilbrun’s Suicide : 45 were talking about death, dying, as we often did.

She called this kind of suicide rational. q It’s the kind of decision that might leave people who hear the story—including quite young people—with the idea that despair is a rational response to normal aging and that feminism can do nothing to alleviate it. Carolyn and I had not been close enough to have discussed suicide. Her death shocked and amazed me. Later, thinking about the anomalies led me, as an age critic, to interview people who knew her and to read what her friends had published about her states of mind.

A metaphor for the hardness of hearts, the ice floe suggests that many people do not trust their affinity groups, scientific and medical experts, capitalism, or the state to rescue us. Which groups are more vulnerable than others to ageism? The victim on the ice floe is characterized vaguely. What gender is the Eskimo? Writers and speakers rarely distinguish, but in our country more of the frail and poor old are women than men. The rhetoric of being burdensome is loaded mainly on us. That’s a large female enclave out The Eskimo on the Ice Floe : 31 on the ice.

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Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America by Margaret Morganroth Gullette


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