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HLTHAGE 1BB3 (288)
Lecture

Lecture 2: Aging, Ageism, and Age Identity

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Department
Health, Aging and Society
Course
HLTHAGE 1BB3
Professor
Jessica Gish
Semester
Fall

Description
September 12, 2013 Aging,Ageism, andAge Identity Aged by Culture: Margaret Gullette  Individuals and society are aged by culture  Age Ideology: dominant set of beliefs and attitudes influence how people think about and understand the process of aging  People are socialized to think about age in specific ways (i.e., progress and decline narrative) Three Features of ―Culture of Decline‖  People come to understand their own age identities and bodies in negative terms beginning in mid-life (middle ageism)  Children are socialized to understand childhood as different from adulthood or old age at early ages o Socialized to fear aging and associate it with responsibility  Our culture of decline consists of time machines that socialize both young children and adults to the meaning of time passing  Western culture views aging negatively o Focus on decline rather than progress o People grow worse rather than better o Don’t look at how people have stayed the same, only how they have changed Time Machines: Two Forms 1) Any artistic or technological product or cultural invention that socializes children and adults into the meaning of time passing 2) Can be a visual image or a story-line about how a person’s life is supposed to unfold ―Our age narratives become our virtual realities‖ (Gullette, 2004) Age Studies andAge Critics Age Studies  Examines how and what children and adults learn about aging through cultural and social avenues (i.e., time machines)  Identifies time machines  Critiques age ideology and popular representations of aging  Develops alternative ways to represent and talk about the aging process Age Critic  Aperson who aims to think critically about aging  Is usually a scholar, but should be everyone (e.g., physicians, journalists), in particular the adults of young children Dominant Life-Course Narratives Progress Narrative A) Acultural story or image that teaches people what their lives and bodies will be like in the future B) Astory about aging that emphasizes survival, resilience, and adjustment to aging. It shows value in the aging process. It is an anti-decline narrative. Decline Narrat
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