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Old Age in a Changing Society

Zena Smith Blau

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ISBN 10: 0531064808 / ISBN 13: 9780531064801
Published by Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, 1974
Used Condition: Used: Good Soft cover
From Ergodebooks (RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Old Age in a Changing Society

Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd

Publication Date: 1974

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Used: Good

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Synopsis:

Many people try to imagine what their life will be like when they retire or are widowed... But they can rarely foresee the full range of consequences set off by later exits from long-held roles--partly because they lack a knowledgeable perspective on other possible roles in their repertory. The present work, by providing such a perspective, can help the reader gain... a greater understanding of how to prepare for and cope with these changes when they occur. In the present era, vastly increased numbers of people survive middle age and face the prospect of living for a long time in a society that as yet has found no ways to use the qualities, talents, and skills of its aging citizens. Since most of us view life as an ultimate value, we hail any act or artifact that extends it as a boon to humanity. Perhaps some day that will be true. For the present, however, I question the wisdom of a society that allocates considerable resources and talent to prolonging human life but fails to provide meaningful social roles for older people. That, I submit, is the critical problem of aging in modern society. ...It is the sustained experience of being necessary to others that gives meaning and purpose to the life of all human beings. ... True, older people do receive some financial restitution after widowhood and retirement, but our society has failed as yet to assume any significant degree of responsibility for creating new and meaningful forms of social restitution for them. As a result, enforced idleness and uselessness have become the fate of many older people in American society. Only an affluent society can maintain a considerable segment of its population in non-productive idleness. To do so, however, is a waste of human resources and human spirit that could be used to benefit both the society and its older members. If human life is precious, then it is folly to waste it. If it is not, then why extend it? This is the dilemma that old age poses for a post-industrial society.

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