less than 1 minute read

Critical Gerontology

Critical Theory, Political Economy, Social Phenomenology, Conclusion

Generally speaking, the term "critical gerontology" can be used to describe a rather broad spectrum of theoretical interests, ranging from constructions and deconstructions of aging (Gubrium, 1986; Hazan; Katz) to the issue of power and control in contemporary society (Estes; Moody, 1988, 1993; Phillipson and Walker). What ties these different perspectives together is that all of them, in one form or another, have been critical of "a theoretical self-understanding of gerontology, which is dominated by an idealized concept of natural science as the representative of 'objective' knowledge" (Baars, p. 220). In contrast, critical gerontologists argue that the nature of scientific data cannot be separated from the approach, interest, orientation, and other subjective aspects of the researcher. The issues raised have focused primarily on the ideological and socially constructive features of age conceptualizations. Three theories in particular—critical Figure 1 Average Annual Rate of Violent Crime by Age Group, 1992–1997 SOURCE: Author Figure 2 Average Annual Rate of Personal Theft Victimization, 1992–1997 SOURCE: Author theory, political economy, and social phenomenology—are exemplary in this regard. We discuss each in turn.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1