By Leni Marshall
Deconstructs fiction and nonfiction to additional understandings of the way getting older and outdated age are created.
In energetic, available prose, this booklet expands the succeed in and intensity of age reports. A evaluate of age stories tools in conception, literature, and perform leads readers to work out how their very own intersectional identities form their ideals approximately age, getting older, and outdated age. This learn asks readers to interrogate the “texts” of menopause, self-help books on getting older, and foundational age stories works. as well as the examine of those nonfiction texts, the poetry and prose of Doris Lessing, Lucille Clifton, and Louise Erdrich function autos for exploring how age family paintings, together with how they invoke readers into kinships of reciprocal care as othermothers, otherdaughters, and otherelders. The literary chapters learn how proficient storytellers offer enactments, portrayals, and metaphorical makes use of of age to create transformative power.
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Extra resources for Age Becomes Us: Bodies and Gender in Time
For example, many women in North America consider menopausal hot f lashes to be biological phenomena, but most women in Japan do not have hot f lashes (Lock). Having “senior moments” is a culturally accepted part of aging in North America, but studies of other societies demonstrate that such moments are a cultural response to aging (Savishinsky). Loneliness and isolation are not natural outcomes of old age, but ref lections of the social state, stemming in part from geographic mobility and an emphasis on the nuclear family.
Internally, the message can be quite the opposite, as the aging self experiences a heightened mind/body divide. 9 For example, a professor may spend an hour or more Deconstructing the Body Through Age Studies 35 focused on her scholarship or watching a movie, not noticing her body, much as she did decades ago. Hearing the doorbell chime, however, she may become conscious of the physical difference those decades make. The same body that could unconsciously leap up and bound downstairs to answer the door might respond differently now, as her knees need a moment to unbend, her legs take a few smaller steps before they are ready to stride forward, and at each stair, her hand connects lightly with the banister for balance.
Applying these concepts to the aged body leads to some interesting observations. , “mature over time and Deconstructing the Body Through Age Studies 29 build life experiences”). Students who consider aging as a physical process say that aging happens when a body experiences “anatomical degradation” so that a “less efficient” body requires a person to “slow down” (Lamb, “Polyester”). Thus, responding to elders based on visual information—the physical—becomes both a cause and an effect of ageism.
Age Becomes Us: Bodies and Gender in Time by Leni Marshall