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Aged by Culture 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226310626
ISBN-10: 0226310620
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The word "age" in contemporary parlance often means nothing more than the evaporation of youth and the onset of inevitable, ghastly decay. Gullette, author of an award-winning study of age defiance in popular culture (Declining to Decline), is disturbed not just by the reductiveness of this idea, but the "anomalies in our celebratory age ideology" as well. Her ambitious examination of the forces behind various age norms calls for profound changes in the way we think about age, both socially and culturally. Starting with the deep dread that infects both youth and the apparent embrace of seniority, Gullette looks at a number of phenomena: the "age-wage curve" and its disappointed expectations; the much-ballyhooed economic clash between Baby Boomers and the next generation and how the deaths of children in fiction reflect larger, nonparental anxieties about aging. The result is essentially a polemic against ageism or rather specifically "middle-ageism." The second part mines a much richer vein of ideas about age and personal identity, and begins to lay out the groundwork for a cross between a sociological discipline and a critical theory of age. Here Gullette considers the relation between physical and conceptual age, how the body wears and is worn by its years; how we understand and might revise our place in the life-cycle and our own private narratives. Written in the jumpy, jargony, crypto-conversational style now common among academics, this complex book is an important intellectual resource for anyone who wants to think seriously about the way personal and cultural time lines can, or should, interact.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

Americans enjoy longer lives and better health, yet we are becoming increasingly obsessed with trying to stay young. What drives the fear of turning 30, the boom in anti-aging products, the wars between generations? What men and women of all ages have in common is that we are being insidiously aged by the culture in which we live.

In this illuminating book, Margaret Morganroth Gullette reveals that aging doesn't start in our chromosomes, but in midlife downsizing, the erosion of workplace seniority, threats to Social Security, or media portrayals of "aging Xers" and "greedy" Baby Boomers. To combat the forces aging us prematurely, Gullette invites us to change our attitudes, our life storytelling, and our society. Part intimate autobiography, part startling cultural expose, this book does for age what gender and race studies have done for their categories. Aged by Culture is an impassioned manifesto against the pernicious ideologies that steal hope from every stage of our lives.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (January 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226310620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226310626
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Gullete's observation that "We are aged more by culture than by chromosomes" piqued my curiosity enough to buy the book...and then WOW! When I started to read it I couldn't put it down. It is scholarly,informative and clearly articulates the reality and pernicious nature of what our culture does to "aging"....and what we do to ourselves by buying into this cultural ideology. This is not a book for whiners or the feint of heart as Gullette gives us ample material and rational for challenging and changing the way we all view aging...which we can do and absolutely must do. I'm starting with a positive attitude right now! I recommend it for anyone who intends to remain a productive member of society in all stages of their life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was a good book
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Aged by Culture
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