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Ecology and the Aging Self

Ecology and the Aging Self CHAPTER 3 ROBERT L. RUBINSTEIN DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND KATE DE MEDEIROS DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN GERONTOLOGY UMBC: UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY n this chapter we examine the relationship of the self and the ecology of later life. We review literature about the self and the ecology of later life Iand present an argument that reshapes some of this literature. More specifically, we will examine the “fit” between the self — a cultural and psy- chological entity — and the environment as constructed through ecological theory. The chapter finds that there is a significant failure in theory to incorporate the self, leading to some unrealized consequences and lack of appropriate richness. In evaluating this theory we suggest an alternative point of view based on the symbolic nature of human culture and its rep- resentation in narrative and language. This we believe incorporates more of the vitality of the self. Development of the self in later life occurs in both sociocultural and eco- environmental contexts. In the sociocultural domain, both powerful social forces and cultural meanings dramatically affect and construct the life course. At the present time the older self is changing dramatically in its conceptualization http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics Springer Publishing

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
0198-8794
eISSN
1944-4036
DOI
10.1891/0198-8794.23.1.59
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

CHAPTER 3 ROBERT L. RUBINSTEIN DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND KATE DE MEDEIROS DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN GERONTOLOGY UMBC: UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY n this chapter we examine the relationship of the self and the ecology of later life. We review literature about the self and the ecology of later life Iand present an argument that reshapes some of this literature. More specifically, we will examine the “fit” between the self — a cultural and psy- chological entity — and the environment as constructed through ecological theory. The chapter finds that there is a significant failure in theory to incorporate the self, leading to some unrealized consequences and lack of appropriate richness. In evaluating this theory we suggest an alternative point of view based on the symbolic nature of human culture and its rep- resentation in narrative and language. This we believe incorporates more of the vitality of the self. Development of the self in later life occurs in both sociocultural and eco- environmental contexts. In the sociocultural domain, both powerful social forces and cultural meanings dramatically affect and construct the life course. At the present time the older self is changing dramatically in its conceptualization

Journal

Annual Review of Gerontology & GeriatricsSpringer Publishing

Published: Nov 1, 2003

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