Paper $49.95 ISBN: 9781847425591 Published September 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $120.00 ISBN: 9781847425935 Published September 2015 For sale in North and South America only

Ageing, Insight and Wisdom

Meaning and Practice across the Lifecourse

Ricca Edmondson

Ageing, Insight and Wisdom

Ricca Edmondson

Distributed for Bristol University Press

224 pages | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 | © 2015
Paper $49.95 ISBN: 9781847425591 Published September 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $120.00 ISBN: 9781847425935 Published September 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Taking a novel approach to aging, this book focuses on older people as makers of meaning and insight, highlighting the evolving values, priorities, and ways of communicating that make later life fascinating and rich. Ricca Edmondson explores what creating meaning in later life really implies, for older people themselves, for how older people are conceptualized, and for relationships between generations. Offering a language for discussing types and issues of lifecourse meaning, including those concerning the ethical and temporal ways older people interpret their experiences, form part of social and symbolic landscapes, and offer wisdom, Ageing, Insight and Wisdom will appeal to scholars of gerontology, sociological methodology, humanistic sociology, philosophy, psychology, and health promotion and medicine.
List of figures
Foreword by Harry R. Moody
Series editor’s foreword

Introduction: the roles of meaning in (later) life
Studying life-course meaning: an interdisciplinary project
Meaning in lived contexts
Developing the argument

One: Lifecourses, insight and meaning
Meaning in gerontology
Lifetime and insight in gerontological research
Exploring approaches to meaning

Two: Diminishing older people: silence, occlusion and ‘fading out’
The ambiguity of age-consciousness
The struggle for language
Social hegemony and age
The crisis of ethics

Three: Lifetimes, meaning and listening to older people
Insight and the lifecourse in gerontology
A triad of approaches to meaning
Some approaches to listening
Reconstructive ethnography: exposing communicative forms
Conveying meaning in texts
Time and narrative
Meaning, insight and practice

Four: Languages for life-course meaning and wisdom
Life-course meaning: insight and wisdom
Late-life meaning: insight and wisdom
Late-life insight and the human condition: the humanities and artistic production
Mapping meaning in gerontology with work on wisdom

Five: Conclusion: ethics, insight and wisdom in intergenerational life-course construction

Review Quotes
Thomas R. Cole, University of Texas Medical School at Houston
“This is a book of rare distinction and import. Tremendously learned yet modest, quietly powerful in its advocacy of meaning and wisdom in gerontology. In a word, liberating.”
Stephen Katz, Trent University (Canada)
“Edmondson’s critical expedition into the wisdom of the ages and keen observations of everyday life in the West of Ireland transform our understanding of aging as artful, ethical, meaningful, and deeply human.”
Jan Baars, University of Humanistic Studies, the Netherlands
“Edmondson’s truly remarkable book demonstrates that wisdom is not a collection of proverbs but an expression of a deeply humane quest for insight which may intensify as people grow older. An inspiring, deeply reflected work that looks beyond the dominant agendas of contemporary aging.”
Chris Gilleard, University College London
“In five succinct chapters Edmondson provides an eminently valuable and useful exploration of the nature of meaning in later life, both as meaning attributed to old age and as found and realized within it. Mixing together the narratives of people known as friends and colleagues with the accounts of people as research subjects, she provides a welcome overview of issues and themes to which other books on aging often give scant or only passing regard. Highly recommended.”
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