ERIC Number: ED243633
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
A New Chapter: Elderly Urban Indians and Political Activism in Phoenix.
Liebow, Edward B.
Life history interviews with 22 elderly Indians (16 women, 6 men, aged 60 to 81) in Phoenix suggest that for many of them the Indian Senior Center offers a sociable arena where they assume activist roles, directly addressing aging-related issues concerning health care, transportation, and emotional stress management. They engage in fund-raising activities in order to attend national and regional aging policy conferences; offer a nutrition program to new mothers; serve on local advisory boards for health services, transportation planning, and Area Aging Offices; visit nearby reservation nursing homes; serve as VISTA volunteers; and run for local school boards. Among those who remain in the city, aging does not necessarily lead to more conservative political attitudes and behaviors. Although many of the interviewees first came to Phoenix to attend boarding school during the time when government policy stressed regimentation and acculturation, some now support the school's continued operation for pragmatic reasons: the school is located on an enormously valuable property in the central business district. Thus, life history data indicate that the aging process is characterized for elderly urban Indians living in metropolitan Phoenix, by increasing pragmatism, stability of political orientation, and the potential for heightened interest and participation in political affairs. (Author/MH)
Descriptors: Activism, Aging (Individuals), American Indian Education, American Indian History, American Indian Reservations, Boarding Schools, Citizen Participation, Family Relationship, Individual Power, Interviews, Older Adults, Personal Autonomy, Political Attitudes, Political Issues, Urban American Indians, Urban Areas, Urban Demography, Urban Problems, Volunteers
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Arizona (Phoenix); Senior Citizen Centers
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (82nd, Chicago, IL, November 17-20, 1983).