Remembered Lives: The Work of Ritual, Storytelling, and Growing Older

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9780472081776: Remembered Lives: The Work of Ritual, Storytelling, and Growing Older
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What it's like to grow older in America, as revealed by an anthropologist who listened to the stories of the elderly.

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Myerhoff, an anthropologist who died in 1985, is best known for Number Our Days , her Academy Award-winning documentary and companion book about the lives of elderly immigrant Jews struggling to maintain their identity in Los Angeles. These 11 essays, most with a strong academic bent, will appeal not only to anthropologists but to those interested in gerontology. One essay analyzes the combination of American and Jewish rituals in a "graduation-siyum " (Hebrew for "completion") for Yiddish history classmates at a Jewish senior citizens' center who had completed a course of study; the ritual, Myerhoff writes, fused "disparate domains of experience," from the shtetl to America, sacred to secular. Another piece discusses how aging affects the sexes differently: immigrant Jewish women seem to become more active and expansive in old age, while the men withdraw. Most interesting are Myerhoff's reflections on her film and earlier book: on the conflict between her subjects' desire for visibility versus the professional dictum that their identities be disguised; the subjects' response to the film; and how she herself turned to this elderly community for emotional support.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780472103171: Remembered Lives: The Work of Ritual, Storytelling, and Growing Older

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ISBN 10:  0472103172 ISBN 13:  9780472103171
Publisher: University of Michigan Press, 1992
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