The Journey of Life: A Cultural History of Aging in America

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9780521447652: The Journey of Life: A Cultural History of Aging in America

The Journey of Life is both a cultural history of aging and a contribution to public dialogue about the meaning and significance of later life. The core of the book shows how central texts and images of Northern middle-class culture, first in Europe and then in America, created and sustained specifically modern images of the life course between the Reformation and World War I. During this long period, secular, scientific and individualist tendencies steadily eroded ancient and medieval understandings of aging as a mysterious part of the eternal order of things. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, however, postmodern images of life's journey offer a renewed awareness of the spiritual dimensions of later life and new opportunities for growth in an aging society.

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The Journey of Life is both a cultural history of aging and a contribution to public dialogue about the meaning and significance of later life. The core of the book shows how central texts and images of Northern middle-class culture created and sustained specifically modern images of the life course between the Reformation and World War I.

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Cole, an associate professor at the University of Texas, here explores the evolution of societal attitudes toward aging, gender and familial ideals from antiquity to the present, discussing both political and philosophical influences. He devotes a major portion of this excellent and accessible scholarly study to examining a wide variety of religious beliefs, many of which envision life as a spiritual pilgrimage. However, with the rise of secular individualism, today's "scientific management" of aging has prolonged the life span, Cole observes, and liberated older men and women of many burdens and duties. On the other hand, he contends, the elderly have been deprived of their traditional cultural roles, special functions and positions in society. Furthermore, he notes, with a youth-oriented culture that tends to consider aging a chronic disease, the spiritual aspects of growing old and of death as natural parts of the life cycle have been slighted. Illustrations.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The Journey of Life is both a cultural history of aging and a contribution to public dialogue about the meaning and significance of later life. The core of the book shows how central texts and images of Northern middle-class culture, first in Europe and then in America, created and sustained specifically modern images of the life course between the Reformation and World War I. During this long period, secular, scientific and individualist tendencies steadily eroded ancient and medieval understandings of aging as a mysterious part of the eternal order of things. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, however, postmodern images of life s journey offer a renewed awareness of the spiritual dimensions of later life and new opportunities for growth in an aging society. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780521447652

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The Journey of Life is both a cultural history of aging and a contribution to public dialogue about the meaning and significance of later life. The core of the book shows how central texts and images of Northern middle-class culture, first in Europe and then in America, created and sustained specifically modern images of the life course between the Reformation and World War I. During this long period, secular, scientific and individualist tendencies steadily eroded ancient and medieval understandings of aging as a mysterious part of the eternal order of things. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, however, postmodern images of life s journey offer a renewed awareness of the spiritual dimensions of later life and new opportunities for growth in an aging society. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780521447652

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