The Journey of Life: A Cultural History of Aging in Americaby Thomas R. Cole, Cole
Pub. Date: 11/28/1992
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Both a cultural history of aging and a contribution to public dialogues about the meaning and significance of later life. Central texts and images of Northern middle-class culture created and sustained specifically modern images of the life course between the Reformation and World War I; while secular, scientific, and individualist tendencies steadily eroded ancient and medieval understandings of aging as a mysterious part of the eternal order of things. Postmodern images of life's journey, however, offer a renewed awareness of the spiritual dimensions of later life and new opportunities for growth in an aging society.
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Table of Contents
List of illustrations; Preface; Introduction; Part I. The Ages of Life and the Journey of Life: Transcendent Ideals: 1. Aging in the Western tradition: cultural origins of the modern life course; 2. The aging pilgrim's progress in the New World; 3. 'Death without order': the late Calvinist ideal of aging; Part II. The Dualism of Aging in Victorian America: 4. Antebellum revivals and Victorian morals: the ideological origins of ageism; 5. Popular health reform and the legitimation of longevity, 1830–1870; 6. Aging, popular art, and Romantic religion in mid-Victorian culture; 7. In a different voice: self-help and the ideal of 'civilised' old age, 1850–1910; Part III. Science and the Ideal of Normal Aging: 8. The aging of 'civilised' morality: the fixed period versus prolongevity, 1870–1925; 9. Toward the scientific management of aging: the formative literature of gerontology and geriatrics, 1890–1930; 10. The prophecy of Senescence: G. Stanley Hall and the reconstruction of old age; Epilogue: Beyond dualism and control - reflections on aging in postmodern culture; Index.
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