Anthropological Perspectives on Aging

Edited by Britteny M. Howell and Ryan P. Harrod

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An in-depth and wide-ranging approach to the study of older adults in society  
“This outstanding and engaging body of work examines the various nuances of aging using a holistic and cross-field approach. One to add to a personal library.”—Elisha R. Oliver, Oklahoma State University  
“Older adults have been invisible in both academia and the real world for thousands of years. This book helps to make them visible.”—Christine Cave, Australian National University  
Taking a holistic approach to the study of aging, this volume uses biological, archaeological, medical, and cultural perspectives to explore how older adults have functioned in societies around the globe and throughout human history. As the world’s population over 65 years of age continues to increase, this wide-ranging approach fills a growing need for both academics and service professionals in gerontology, geriatrics, and related fields.
Case studies from the United States, Tibet, Turkey, China, Nigeria, and Mexico provide examples of the ways age-related changes are influenced by environmental, genetic, sociocultural, and political-economic variables. Taken together, they help explain how the experience of aging varies across time and space. These contributions from noted anthropological scholars examine evolutionary and biological understandings of human aging, the roles of elders in various societies, issues of gender and ageism, and the role of chronic illness and “successful aging” among older adults.
This volume highlights how an anthropology of aging can illustrate how older adults adapt to shifting life circumstances and environments, including changes to the ways in which individuals and families care for them. The research in Anthropological Perspectives on Aging can also help researchers, students, and practitioners reach across disciplines to address age discrimination and help improve health outcomes throughout the life course.  
Britteny M. Howell is assistant professor in the Division of Population Health Sciences, affiliate faculty for the National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders, and founding director of the Healthy Aging Research Laboratory at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Ryan P. Harrod, dean of academic affairs and chief academic officer at Garrett College, is coeditor of The Bioarchaeology of Violence.
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