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Critical Gerontology - Conclusion

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While the theories discussed (critical theory, political economy, and social phenomenology) have very different orientations to the study of aging, the analytic challenges they pose represent something new—new modes of self-consciousness—in terms of the nature and practice of gerontological inquiry (Lynott and Lynott). This does not mean to suggest, however, that a paradigm shift in definitions of and thoughts about age and aging is developing (Kuhn). On the contrary, as Jan Baars (p. 220) has pointed out, the theories, in large part, "have been excluded by the established 'mainstream."' Each of these approaches, in its own fashion, takes issue with conventional theorizing in the field, providing new insights into, and critical self-reflection on, the continuing effort to understand the aging experience.



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GUBRIUM, J. F., and LYNOTT, R. J. "Alzheimer's Disease as Biographical Work." In Social Bonds in Later Life: Aging and Interdependence. Edited by W. A. Peterson and J. Quadagno, Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1985. Pages 349–367.

GUBRIUM, J. F., and LYNOTT, R. J. "Rethinking Life Satisfaction." Human Organization 42, no. 1 (1983): 30–38.

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KUHN, T. S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.

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MOODY, H. R. "Overview: What is Critical Gerontology and Why is it Important?" In Voices and Visions of Aging: Toward a Critical Gerontology. Edited by T. R. Cole, W. A. Achenbaum, P. L. Jakobi, and R. Kastenbaum, New York: Springer, 1993. Pages xv–xli.

MOODY, H. R. "Toward a Critical Gerontology: The Contribution of the Humanities to Theories of Aging." In Emergent Theories of Aging. Edited by J. E. Birren and V. L. Bengtson, New York: Springer, 1988. Pages 19–40.

MURPHY, J. W., and LONGINO, C. F., JR. "What is the Justification for a Qualitative Approach to Ageing Studies?" Ageing and Society 12, no. 2 (1992): 143–156.

MYLES, J. Old Age in the Welfare State: The Political Economy of Public Pensions, Rev. ed. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1989.

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PASSUTH, P. M., and BENGTSON, VERNL. "Sociological Theories of Aging: Current Perspectives and Future Directions." In Emergent Theories of Aging. Edited by J. E. Birren and V. L. Bengtson, New York: Springer, 1988. Pages 333–355.

PHILLIPSON, C., and WALKER, A. "The Case for a Critical Gerontology." In Social Gerontology: New Directions. Edited by S. Di Gregorio. London: Croom Helm, 1987. Pages 1–15.

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STARR, J. M. "Toward a Social Phenomenology of Aging: Studying the Self Process in Biographical Work." International Journal of Aging and Human Development 16, no. 4 (1982–1983): 255–270.

WALKER, A. "Towards a Political Economy of Old Age." Ageing and Society 1, no. 1 (1981): 73–94.

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