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Love Stories of Later Life: A Narrative Approach to Understanding Romanceby Amanda Smith Barusch
Synopses & Reviews
Even with baby boomers retiring and greater media and research attention being lavished on older people, most gerontologists have studiously avoided examining romance among the elderly. Love Stories of Later Life is an appealing and eye-opening remedy to this neglect, as leading gerontologist Amanda Smith Barusch presents original research into what love and romance mean in seniors' lives. The result is a glimpse into a world many people didn't know existed - that of romantic love in later life.
Unlike superficial guidebooks that purport to help seniors find a new mate, Love Stories of Later Life integrates theory and the latest research on love and the aging process. Drawing on a wealth of personal narratives collected during a landmark five-year study, the book presents the lived experiences of older adults from all walks of life. It addresses the impact of common age-related changes, both emotional and physical, on romantic relationships, and argues that love continues to sculpt our personalities and our lives, even in life's later decades. Each chapter includes practical tools for the serious student of love, including exercises designed to increase self-awareness and relationship-building as well as annotated lists of suggested reading that are at once comprehensive and accessible.
Barusch's fresh perspective, engaging voice, and in-depth qualitative research make Love Stories of Later Life an important contribution to the study of individual lives and the aging process. This book will guide gerontologists, social workers, and counselors as they in turn help their older clients navigate love's challenges.
Visit the author's website: Amanda Barusch
About the Author
Amanda Smith Barusch, PhD, has been teaching and researching in the field of aging for over 25 years. Most of those were spent on the faculty of the College of Social Work at the University of Utah. She now serves as Professor and Head of Department of Social Work and Community Development at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She has received numerous academic awards, prizes and fellowships, and her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Administration on Aging, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Love in Later Life
Part 1: Love and Age
1. Understanding Love
2. The Aging Self
Part 2: Love's Illusions
4. Looking for Love
Part 3: Lived Love
5. Committed Relationships
6. Supporting Actors: Family, Friends, and Community
Part 4: Love's Disillusions
7. Betrayal and Rejection
8. Love Lost
Conclusion: The Romantic Imagination
Appendix A: Love in Professional Literature
Appendix B: The Research in Detail
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