Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America / Edition 1

Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America / Edition 1

by Margaret M. Lock
ISBN-10:
0520201620
ISBN-13:
9780520201620
Pub. Date:
05/30/1995
Publisher:
University of California Press
Select a Purchase Option (Reprint)
  • purchase options
    $36.95
  • purchase options

Overview

Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America / Edition 1


Margaret Lock explicitly compares Japanese and North American medical and political accounts of female middle age to challenge Western assumptions about menopause. She uses ethnography, interviews, statistics, historical and popular culture materials, and medical publications to produce a richly detailed account of Japanese women's lives. The result offers irrefutable evidence that the experience and meanings—even the endocrinological changes—associated with female midlife are far from universal. Rather, Lock argues, they are the product of an ongoing dialectic between culture and local biologies.

Japanese focus on middle-aged women as family members, and particularly as caretakers of elderly relatives. They attach relatively little importance to the end of menstruation, seeing it as a natural part of the aging process and not a diseaselike state heralding physical decline and emotional instability. Even the symptoms of midlife are different: Japanese women report few hot flashes, for example, but complain frequently of stiff shoulders.

Articulate, passionate, and carefully documented, Lock's study systematically undoes the many preconceptions about aging women in two distinct cultural settings. Because it is rooted in the everyday lives of Japanese women, it also provides an excellent entree to Japanese society as a whole.

Aging and menopause are subjects that have been closeted behind our myths, fears, and misconceptions. Margaret Lock's cross-cultural perspective gives us a critical new lens through which to examine our assumptions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520201620
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 05/30/1995
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 439
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.13(d)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews