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ERIC Number: EJ905424
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0016-9013
Gender Relations and Applied Research on Aging
Calasanti, Toni
Gerontologist, v50 n6 p720-734 Dec 2010
As a concept in gerontology, gender appears as lists of traits learned through socialization when theorized at all. I argue for a framework that theorizes the intersections of relations of gender inequality with those of age. This framework holds that men and women gain resources and bear responsibilities, in relation to one another, by virtue of mundane categorization into naturalized stratified groups. Current research shows that this approach allows explanation of gender differences, which appear in many reports but which usually go untheorized, as responses to social inequality. I illustrate applications to research and practice in relation to three areas of old age experiences: financial security, spousal care work, and health. Throughout, I discuss implications of focusing on inequality to enhance our abilities to engage in effective research, practice, and policy for older people, women and men alike. For instance, an understanding of the gender division of labor and workplace discrimination makes clear that financial status in later life cannot be reduced to individual choices concerning paid labor or retirement planning. And understanding that people orient their behaviors to gender ideals allows us to see that men and women perform spousal care in similar and different ways that require varied responses from practitioners; it also reveals contexts in which men engage in positive health behaviors. Finally, I argue that gerontologists interested in facilitating favorable outcomes for old people should consider research and practice that would disrupt, not reinforce, the bases of gender inequalities in later life.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A