Learning to Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$8.37
(Save 72%)
Est. Return Date: 09/26/2014
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$21.11
(Save 29%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $26.75   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   

Overview

Margaret Cruikshank’s Learning to Be Old examines what it means to grow old in America today. The book questions social myths and fears about aging, sickness, and the other social roles of the elderly, the over-medicalization of many older people, and ageism. In this book, Cruikshank proposes alternatives to the ways aging is usually understood in both popular culture and mainstream gerontology. Learning to Be Old does not propose the ideas of “successful aging” or “productive aging,” but more the idea of “learning” how to age.

Featuring new research and analysis, the third edition of Learning to be Old demonstrates, more thoroughly than the previous editions, that aging is socially constructed. Among texts on aging the book is unique in its clear focus on the differences in aging for women and men, as well as for people in different socioeconomic groups. Cruikshank is able to put aging in a broad context that not only focuses on how aging affects women but men, as well. Key updates in the third edition include changes in the health care system, changes in how long older Americans are working especially given the impact of the recession, and new material on the brain and mind-body interconnections. Cruikshank impressively challenges conventional ideas about aging in this third edition of Learning to be Old. This will be a must-read for everyone interested in new ideas surrounding aging in America today.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Women's Review Of Books - Marie Shear
Learning to Be Old is full of analyses and insights. . . . It can inspire consciousness raising, group discussion, and social and political activism. It will stimulate thought, rev up your indignation, furnish your brain, and probably prove that your mother was a damn sight more astute than you realized.
Jill Quadagno
Praise for the first edition:
In this lively and engaging book, Margaret Cruikshank challenges the concept of successful aging, which imposes a competitive and male standard on a complex social process, and argues that we adopt instead the notion of 'aging comfortably.
Robert C. Atchley
Praise for the first edition:
The American view of aging is dominated by cultural myths, simplistic media portrayals, and public relations science. In this confusion, strong voices are needed to help us reflect on important issues. Learning to Be Old is a strong critique of the views of aging contained in our culture, and it is a very welcome addition to the growing humanities literature in the field.
Nancy R. Hooyman
Praise for the first edition:
Through its underlying feminist perspective, Learning to Be Old raises the promise of a transformative approach to the paradoxes of aging. Margaret Cruikshank argues that aging is socially constructed and therefore we can (and must) change, unlearn, or rethink what is accepted as the 'truth' about aging in order to learn to age comfortably.
Laura Katz Olson
Praise for the first edition:
Margaret Cruikshank's approach is innovative and creative. Many of her ideas are essential for fully understanding the personal and societal aging experience. She integrates ways to help us age successfully with the larger social and economic questions. Well thought out.
Virginia Gillispie
Praise for the first edition:

Exciting and important . . . this pioneering work addresses an area that is desperately in need of critical analysis.

Nancy Orel
The second edition of Learning to Be Old will be an excellent textbook for graduate or undergraduate students enrolled in gerontology, women’s studies, psychology, and social work, to name a few. However, this book should be required reading for all individuals who aspire to 'age comfortably.' Margaret Cruikshank eloquently addresses the social construction of aging and encourages all of us to unlearn, rethink, and/or reject the current aging myths and stereotypes. Her innovative approach to the 'paradoxes of aging' is informative, thought provoking, and pioneering. Cruikshank indicates that 'learning to be old may be the last emotional and spiritual challenge we can agree to take on,' and Cruikshank’s ideas and teachings can illuminate this journey.
The New York Times Magazine
Praise for the first edition:
In her excellent book, Learning to Be Old, Margaret Cruikshank compares the aged to a 'colonized people', suggesting that ageism goes beyond dehumanization into actual scapegoating of the old.
Association Of American Colleges and Universities
Cruikshank's thoughtful analysis challenges our cultural myths about women and aging and invites us to transcend the social constructions and expectations of aging.
Golden Threads
Dr. Cruikshank has done a tremendous amount of research for this book. She covers so much in such little space, that you marvel she gets it all in . . . definitely factual and informative.
Library Journal
Age discrimination is alive and well in America. Despite increased knowledge about aging and improved longevity, myths and stereotypes abound. This book's title refers to the need to dispel those myths and to see old age as characterized by new opportunities and the development of new talents and strengths. Gerontologist and women's studies expert Cruickshank (Ctr. on Aging, Univ. of Maine) examines the issues from a decidedly feminist viewpoint. She elaborates on two basic ideas: that aging is affected more by culture than by biological changes and that awareness of societal beliefs and customs about aging is essential if women are to achieve "comfortable aging." She also rails against "medicalization" and the overemphasis on bodily decline in old age. Cruickshank raises important issues, but at times her position might strike some as overly strident, as when she suggests that the aged are overmedicated as a result of an inappropriate relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and mainstream medicine. This thought-provoking book is recommended for academic social science and medical collections but would likely prove to be too dense for general readers.-Linda M.G. Katz, Drexel Univ. Health Sciences Libs., Philadelphia Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Canadian Women's Studies
Praise from a previous edition: This text is such a gem that it is tempting to quote from it non-stop.
Tucson Weekly
Praise from a previous edition: Sheds light on a particular bias inherent in studying this country's burgeoning aging population and asks why unlike gender, race, and sexual orientation—identities that have been reinterpreted as socially constructed phenomena—aging is still seen through physically constructed lenses.
Journal of Women & Aging
Praise from a previous edition: One of [the book's] strengths is its weaving of themes from different fields and disciplines. . . . Another is in presentation-it is informative, lively, and well researched.
The Women's Review of Books
Learning to Be Old is full of analyses and insights. . . . It can inspire consciousness raising, group discussion, and social and political activism. It will stimulate thought, rev up your indignation, furnish your brain, and probably prove that your mother was a damn sight more astute that you realized.
— Marie Shear
Journal of Marriage and Family
The major contribution may be her analysis of the potential negative effects of women's family roles and her suspicion that grandmothers are being exploited. This book . . . raises a number of important questions.
Choice
Compressing a significant amount of important information on issues of race, gender, social class, economics, and ethnicity, Cruikshank has created a readable book on the general theme of gerontology. The current research, theories, and practices outlined by Cruikshank will give readers of all ages insights into 'learning to be old.' An extensive bibliography is provided for further study. Essential.
New York Times
In her excellent book, Learning to Be Old, Margaret Cruikshank compares the aged to a 'colonized people', suggesting that ageism goes beyond dehumanization into actual scapegoating of the old.
The New York Times
Praise from a previous edition: In her excellent book, Learning to Be Old, Margaret Cruikshank compares the aged to a 'colonized people', suggesting that ageism goes beyond dehumanization into actual scapegoating of the old.
Gerontologist

Praise from a previous edition: Learning to Be Old is a nice text for both the graduate and undergraduate levels, either in courses on the sociology of aging or in women's studies courses to provide a feminist perspective on aging.
The Senior Times
Praise from a previous edition: A valuable book on aging. Scholarly and well-documented.
Tuscon Weekly
Sheds light on a particular bias inherent in studying this country's burgeoning aging population and asks why unlike gender, race, and sexual orientation identities that have been reinterpreted as socially constructed phenomena, aging is still seen through physically constructed lenses.
CHOICE
Praise from a previous edition: Compressing a significant amount of important information on issues of race, gender, social class, economics, and ethnicity, Cruikshank has created a readable book on the general theme of gerontology. The current research, theories, and practices outlined by Cruikshank will give readers of all ages insights into 'learning to be old.' An extensive bibliography is provided for further study. Essential.
The Gerontologist
Praise from a previous edition: Learning to Be Old is a nice text for both the graduate and undergraduate levels, either in courses on the sociology of aging or in women's studies courses to provide a feminist perspective on aging.
Journal Of Marriage and Family
The major contribution may be her analysis of the potential negative effects of women's family roles and her suspicion that grandmothers are being expolited. This book...raises a number of important questions.
The Women's Review Of Books
Learning to Be Old is full of analyses and insights. . . . It can inspire consciousness raising, group discussion, and social and political activism. It will stimulate thought, rev up your indignation, furnish your brain, and probably prove that your mother was a damn sight more astute that you realized.
— Marie Shear
Journal Of Women & Aging
One of [the book's] strengths is its weaving of themes from different fields and disciplines. . . . Another is in presentation-it is informative, lively, and well researched.
American Psychological Association Division 44 Newsletter
Doug Kimmel, writing in the Division 44 Newsletter, Society for the Psychological Study of
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, a division of the American Psychological Association: This third edition of Cruikshank's widely-used text makes two main points: 'The first is that aging in North America is shaped more by culture than biology, more by beliefs, customs, and traditions than by bodily changes. In other words, it is socially constructed. The second is that awareness of social constructions and resistance to them is crucial for women's comfortable aging.' She develops these two themes while making significant important points about countercultural gerontology and presents a feminist's view of aging. . . . This book is a useful tool to challenge student thinking about conventional views of aging and to help them broaden their horizons about ethnicity, race, class, sexual orientation, and aging from the standpoint of an old lesbian who is not about to go quietly into that good night.
Catherine S. Murray
Compared to traditional aging texts, Learning to Be Old is superior in that it conveys a critical point of view that is rarely present in most texts.
Jan Burhmann
This book is unique, in that it 'gets at' the socially-constructed nature of aging better than any other book I've worked with. Cruikshank does a particularly good job of examining and discussing these differences as they relate to the experience of aging.
Terri Promo
A compelling book that reminds us, among other things, that 'the personal is political' when we study women and aging.
Meika Loe
Cruikshank's writing is accessible and timely; she expertly shows how 'old' is a socially scripted reality in an ageist society.
Peggy McIntosh
Learning to Be Old is a book as bold as its title. I have tremendous gratitude for the way Margaret Cruikshank rescues readers from societally induced self-blame. She sends us on our way better able to spend our final decades in informed, conscious, and competent ways, resisting the forces that discount us, but never discounting the reality of aging itself. Cruikshank is a welcome author for people who want to get beyond Hallmark simplicities and be accompanied honestly through the aging process by a vibrant scholar and staunch ally.
Margaret Morganroth Gullette
Hard-hitting, crystal-clear, packed with information and zesty quotations, Learning to Be Old deserves its popularity. It is the best introduction to age at the intersections – gender, race, class, sexuality – that a general reader could want. It uncovers a wide range of urgent issues – the minefields of American ageism that younger people need to know about before they get there.
Leni Marshall
In Learning to be Old, Margaret Cruikshank successfully “imagines new ways of understanding and experiencing late life,” with a substantial amount of supporting data. Throughout the book, Cruikshank is attentive to aging as an individual, cultural, and intersectional experience. She considers how age interacts with diversities of race and ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and bodily ability. This edition’s organized, compact sections make the information accessible to general readers. In the classroom, each section is sure to generate discussion. This book presents well-documented evidence about the ways in which people are schooled in aging, and discusses the many benefits that can come from changing how people learn to be old.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742565944
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/16/2009
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 266
  • Sales rank: 1,350,555
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Cruikshank is retired from the women’s studies program and the graduate faculty of the University of Maine. She continues as a faculty associate of the Center on Aging.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Cultural Myths and Aging 9
2 The Fear of an Aging Population 25
3 Sickness and Other Social Roles of the Old 35
4 Overmedicating Old Americans 51
5 Healthy Physical Aging 69
6 The Politics of Healthy Aging 93
7 Gender, Class, and Ethnicity 115
8 Ageism 135
9 Prescribed Busyness and Spirituality 159
10 Gerastology: A Feminist's View of Gerontology and Women's Aging 173
Conclusion: The Paradoxes of Aging 203
References 207
Index 233
About the Author 245
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)