Academic journal article Generations

Our Guest Editor

Academic journal article Generations

Our Guest Editor

Article excerpt

What's it like to be a researcher and find that you are engaged in studying-yourself? For this issue's guest editor, the aging of the baby boom has become a primary area of research. He also happens to be a "leading edge" boomer, among the oldest in that huge group born between 1946 and I964 that everyone seems to have suddenly noticed is rushing headlong toward later life.

David Morgan is a professor at the Institute on Aging and in the Departments of Urban Studies and Planning and Sociology at Portland State University in Oregon. As a sociologist, he has published widely in such areas as adult socialization, social supports, and medical sociology and has led quantitative and qualitative research efforts on such topics as "A Comparison of Intergenerational Views on Aging" and "Religion, Health, and Aging" Morgan says he became interested in the aging of the baby boom as part of his examination of life events and transitions-how people cope individually and together as communities. He says his own experience, of not really contemplating his own aging, made him wonder whether others in his generation had the same attitude.

"At first, when I began studying retirement communities, I was 24 years old," Morgan says, "and I wondered how my grandmother would like the places I saw. Fifteen years later, I was wondering how my parents would like them. After that, I realized I should be thinking in terms of myself, but I hadn't been, even though I'm a gerontologist.

"Why don't we look at our own aging? What interested me was what middle-aged people have thought about related to aging, and what they haven't thought about. …

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