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No aging in India: the uses of gerontology

Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry

Author: Cohen, L.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1992

Abstract:

A critique of international gerontology is constructed via an ethnographic & textual analysis of gerontological practice in India. It is argued that the central theme of Indian gerontology - that of an imminent demographic & social explosion of an aging population who will tax the country's slender resources - misrepresents available statistical data & fails to signify the experience of most old people. Narrative & deconstructive techniques are deployed to examine the langauge of crisis & the complex sources of this misrepresentation, focusing on: local disjunctions of class & gender; neocolonial biases in the structure of knowledge on aging central to international discourse; & subaltern strategies within India for subverting Western & elite Indian imperatives of what it means to be old. Case studies are offered of four contemporary institutions designed to meet the needs of old people: a social service agency, a geriatric clinic, a retirement community, & an old age home.

Further Details

Pages: 123-161
Volume: 16
Issue: 2
Accession Number: 28.3.03
Electronic Resource Number: 10.1007/BF00117016
Keywords: Asia, older
Reads: 240
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