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Gender, Social Inequalities, and Aging

Toni M. Calasanti and Kathleen F. Slevin

Paperback
eBook
The experience of men and women in later life varies enormously, not only along lines of gender but also due to ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and race. In this text on gender issues among the aging, Calasanti and Slevin explore these differences, their genesis, their meaning to men and women, and their treatment in the policy arena. The authors also take to task traditional research on aging and how it ignores these issues. The authors cover topics of work and retirement, body image, sexuality, health, family relationships, and informal care, among many others. The current research and nuanced theoretical approach presented in this brief book makes it the ideal text to correct the stereotypic and monolithic views of the elderly for courses in gender or aging. « less more »
AltaMira Press
Pages: 248Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7591-0186-9 • Paperback • August 2001 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
978-0-7591-1697-9 • eBook • August 2001 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
Series: Gender Lens
Toni Calasanti teaches in the department of sociology at Virginia Tech. Kate Slevin teaches in the department of sociology at the College of William and Mary.
Chapter 1 Gender, Social Inequalities, and Aging
Chapter 2 1. A Gender Lens on Old Age
Chapter 3 2. Gender and the Study of Old Age
Chapter 4 3. Bodies in Old Age
Chapter 5 4. Sex, Sexuality and Old Age
Chapter 6 5. Gender, Social Inequalities, and Retirement Income
Chapter 7 6. Retirement Experiences: The Continuity of Work
Chapter 8 7. Gender, Care Work, and Family in Old Age
Chapter 9 8. An Aging Lens on Gender
Chapter 10 References
Chapter 11 Index
Chapter 12 About the Authors
Finally, a book with gender and age relations at its center; a persuasive response to existing aging texts that, by homogenizing old people, reduce old women, people of color, lesbians and gay men, and members of the poor and working classes to the status of 'other.' Focusing beyond individuals and their interpersonal ties, Calasanti and Slevin reveal the limits and biases of existing research and challenge what is known about old people and their sexuality, their work, their care, and their families, thus reclaiming and redefining what it means to be old.
Alexis Walker, Oregon State University


This book takes an original feminist perspective on old age as a political location, foregrounding gender, aging, and social power. By placing the old within the intersections of other stratifying social identities, Calasanti and Slevin present a major critical analysis of ageism. It will be indispensable reading for women's studies and sociology courses, as well for family and gerontology.
Judith Lorber, City University of New York


I think this book is important for all sociologists, not just those interested in gender or aging. It has a special relevance for researchers, teachers, practitioners, and activists who focus on old women. I have been looking for many years for a comprehensive book to use in my class on women and aging. This is the best I have seen.
Anne Rankin Mahoney, University of Denver; Contemporary Sociology


In this book, Toni Calasanti and Kathleen Slevin travel a long way to unravel the paradox that the discourses of gerontology and feminism both fail to address adequately the issue of gender relations in old age...a refreshingly well-balanced account [that] examines the experience of both men and women in later life and takes into account age, ethnicity, class and sexuality...The authors elaborate a compelling case for theorising gender and age relations, rather than, as at present, 'bolting on' age to feminist discourse or gender to social gerontology...Calasanti and Slevin consolidate their argument in a highly readable, intelligent format, and have made a most valuable contribution to the understanding of later life. The book will add depth and strength to the reading lists of gender studies, gerontology, and, importantly, mainstream sociology.
Kate Davidson, Dept. of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK; Ageing and Society, Vol. 23, 2003


Gender, Social Inequalities and Aging is a thought-provoking and accessible account of the ways in which gender and age relations intersect in producing systems of advantage for some and disadvantage for others. This book makes several importantcontributions to the literature. First, it places emphasis on older women and age relations, both of which have been understudied in feminist research. Second, in the literature on aging, feminist scholarship is lacking and hence analyzing older women andage through a 'gender lens' is an important task that this book takes up. Third, I do not know of any other work that systematically considers the intersections of class, age, race, gender, and sexuality. Hence, Gender, Social Inequalities and Aging will have wide spread appeal in gerontology programs, women studies programs, and in courses on the sociology of age or gender..
Julie McMullin, University of Western Ontario


Gender, Social Inequalities and Aging is a thought-provoking and accessible account of the ways in which gender and age relations intersect in producing systems of advantage for some and disadvantage for others.This book makes several important contributions to the literature. First, it places emphasis on older women and age relations, both of which have been understudied in feminist research. Second, in the literature on aging, feminist scholarship is lacking and hence analyzing older women and age through a 'gender lens' is an important task that this book takes up. Third, I do not know of any other work that systematically considers the intersections of class, age, race, gender, and sexuality. Hence, Gender, Social Inequalities and Aging will have wide spread appeal in gerontology programs, women studies programs, and in courses on the sociology of age or gender.
Julie McMullin, University of Western Ontario


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