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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is a multiauthored work on a new way to look at gerontology: critical gerontology. This approach emphasizes social forces that operate across the world that permit looking at how world trends influence gerontology. Critical gerontology also draws on sociology, political economy, feminist theory, and social anthropology. The result is a beguiling book unlike any other.
Purpose: The purpose is to set forth concepts of critical gerontology. This new way of looking at gerontology is splendidly presented.
Audience: There will be a broad readership of this book throughout academe and by policy makers for the aging. This is not a book for beginners; the book presupposes some understanding of gerontology. The authors are all leading experts in their fields.
Features: The book features well-paginated essays on critical gerontology. Carroll Estes's scintillatingly brilliant essay on a feminist view of gerontology shows how a male-dominated world manipulates the aging of women. Stephen Katz's critique of "function" as the basis of medical gerontology is stunning. Kathyrn Douthit's essay on dementia points out the conceptual limitations of the DSM.
Assessment: This is a brilliant and original contribution to the field of gerontology. It brings conceptualizations of modern philosophers and the humanities and social sciences to bear on gerontology in new and exciting ways. Effete geriatricians, gerontologists, and policy-makers: beware! Here the gaps in your thinking are revealed. How audacious it is to look at gerontology through completely different lenses. This book will amaze you.