Many older people, indeed the majority, have many years of relatively good health after the usual retirement age. Contrary to widely accepted stereotypes, evidence indicates that those who wish to use their skills and abilities for productive contributions may encounter significant barriers.
Bass, Caro, and Chen and the experts who contributed to the volume provide an original reassessment of the current options available to older people. The authors argue that polices, practices, and societal messages help determine what choices are realistically open to older individuals. The attitudes and policies of family, workplace, and government as well as those of educational and religious institutions all contribute to defining what opportunities really are available for older people. The authors show, too, that considerations of gender and ethnicity are powerful in their impact on what those in the later years of life may or may not do. Although leisure is attractive to many in their elder years, the authors stress that it is but one of the number of choices that should be available. Employment, volunteering, and other new productive roles should not be denied to those who want to continue them and who, in the process, enrich their own and society's well-being. The authors provide authoritative analysis and new perspectives on aging.
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About the Author
Scott A. Bass is Director of the Gerontology Institute, University of Massachusetts at Boston. He is also Director of the PhD in Gerontology Program, one of two in the country, and chair of the Gerontology Department. He is a Professor and a founder of the Gerontology Certificate Program in the College of Public and Community Service, a model for the training of students over 60 years old for careers in aging and social policy. Under Dr. Bass's leadership, the Gerontology Institute has grown in one decade to a nationally recognized research and policy institute devoted to the problems of our aging society.
Francis G. Caro is Director of the Frank J. Manning Research Division of the Gerontology Institute, University of Massachusetts at Boston, and is a member of the faculty of the PhD program in Gerontology. Formerly Director of Reserach for the Community Service Society of New York, a major private social welfare agency which among other things is engaged in policy research on problems of the poor in New York City, he is an internationally recognized expert on long-term care and urban policy.
Yung-Ping Chen is the first holder of the Frank J. Manning Eminent Scholar's Chair in Gerontology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and a member of the faculty of the PhD program in Gerontology. Previously, he was the first occupant of the Frank M. Engle Distinguished Chair in Economic Security Research at American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Recipient of a Warren C. Scoville Distinguished Teaching Award (Economics) at the University of California at Los Angeles where he taught for many years, he earlier held a Brookings Research Professorship, Brookings Institute, Washington, DC.
Table of Contents
Preface by Scott A. Bass
Achieving a Productive Aging Society by Francis G. Caro, Scott A. Bass, and Yung-Ping Chen
Age, Productivity, and Transcendence by Harry R. Moody
Labor Market Obstacles to Productive Aging by Joseph F. Quinn and Richard V. Burkhauser
Ageism in the Labor Market versus Productive Aging by Alan Walker and Philip Taylor
New Technologies and the Aging Work Force by David C. Mowery and Mark S. Kamlet
Is Unretirement Unprecedented? by W. Andrew Achenbaum and Malcolm H. Morrison
Formal Volunteer Work Among Older Americans by A. Regula Herzog and James N. Morgan
Caregiving and Productive Aging by Pamela Doty and Baila Miller
The Political Economy of Productive Aging: Long-term Care by Laura Katz Olson
Religious Institutions and Productive Aging: Lost Traditions/Horizons Reclaimed by W. Andrew Achenbaum
The Lessons of Television: Learning Productive Aging as a Social Role by George Gerbner
A Strategy for Productive Aging: Education in Later Life by Harry R. Moody
Women's Lives, Women's Work: Productivity, Gender, and Aging by Martha Holstein
Cultural and Ethnic Contexts of Aging Productively Over the Life-Course: An Economic Network Framework by James S. Jackson, Toni C. Antonucci, and Rose C. Gibson
Continuing Limits on Productive Aging: The Lesser Rewards for Working Women by Karen C. Holden
Conclusion: Defining the Place of the Elderly for the 21st Century by Robert Morris