Synopses & Reviews
Many older people, indeed the majority, have many years of relatively good health after the usual retirement age. Contrary to widely accepted stereotypes, evidence indicates that those who wish to use their skills and abilities for productive contributions may encounter significant barriers.
Bass, Caro, and Chen and the experts who contributed to the volume provide an original reassessment of the current options available to older people. The authors argue that polices, practices, and societal messages help determine what choices are realistically open to older individuals. The attitudes and policies of family, workplace, and government as well as those of educational and religious institutions all contribute to defining what opportunities really are available for older people. The authors show, too, that considerations of gender and ethnicity are powerful in their impact on what those in the later years of life may or may not do. Although leisure is attractive to many in their elder years, the authors stress that it is but one of the number of choices that should be available. Employment, volunteering, and other new productive roles should not be denied to those who want to continue them and who, in the process, enrich their own and society's well-being. The authors provide authoritative analysis and new perspectives on aging.
Bass and his colleagues focus needed attention on the majority of older people who, in their senior years, possess relatively good health and demonstrated abilities. They offer significant potential to society, affording a resource that only in relatively recent times, has been largely unrecognized or ignored. Major issues and obstacles are identified and addressed. These include considerations relative to employment, workplace environment, volunteerism, gender, and ethnic culture. The authors examine roles, both social and economic, which older people can successfully fulfill. They urge a broadening of the options available to us as we age that extend beyond leisure activities and family involvement. They recognize the need for changes in perceptions and the necessary modification of society's institutions to enable choice and greater satisfaction in the later years of life.
The authors examine roles, both social and economic, which older people in good health can successfully fulfill. They urge a broadening of the options available to us as we age that extend beyond leisure activities and family involvement.
The authors examine roles, both social and economic, which older people
in good health can successfully fulfill. They urge a broadening of the options available to us as we age that extend beyond leisure activities and family involvement.
About the Author
YUNG-PING CHEN is the first holder of the Frank J. Manning Eminent Scholar's Chair in Gerontology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and a member of the faculty of the Ph.D. program in Gerontology.
Table of Contents
Preface by Scott A. Bass
Achieving a Productive Aging Society by Francis G. Caro, Scott A. Bass, and Yung-Ping Chen
Age, Productivity, and Transcendence by Harry R. Moody
Labor Market Obstacles to Productive Aging by Joseph F. Quinn and Richard V. Burkhauser
Ageism in the Labor Market versus Productive Aging by Alan Walker and Philip Taylor
New Technologies and the Aging Work Force by David C. Mowery and Mark S. Kamlet
Is Unretirement Unprecedented? by W. Andrew Achenbaum and Malcolm H. Morrison
Formal Volunteer Work Among Older Americans by A. Regula Herzog and James N. Morgan
Caregiving and Productive Aging by Pamela Doty and Baila Miller
The Political Economy of Productive Aging: Long-term Care by Laura Katz Olson
Religious Institutions and Productive Aging: Lost Traditions/Horizons Reclaimed by W. Andrew Achenbaum
The Lessons of Television: Learning Productive Aging as a Social Role by George Gerbner
A Strategy for Productive Aging: Education in Later Life by Harry R. Moody
Women's Lives, Women's Work: Productivity, Gender, and Aging by Martha Holstein
Cultural and Ethnic Contexts of Aging Productively Over the Life-Course: An Economic Network Framework by James S. Jackson, Toni C. Antonucci, and Rose C. Gibson
Continuing Limits on Productive Aging: The Lesser Rewards for Working Women by Karen C. Holden
Conclusion: Defining the Place of the Elderly for the 21st Century by Robert Morris