Academic journal article Generations

Our Guest Editor

Academic journal article Generations

Our Guest Editor

Article excerpt

It has been thirty years since the term ageism was coined, yet bigotry and prejudice directed at people simply because of age persist, permeating society at all levels. For a twenty-first-century look at ageism, the Generations editorial board called on Jon Hendricks, a social gerontologist known for his broad view of human aging and his keen insight into the effects on the individual of larger social forces, which he has demonstrated over the course of a distinguished career in research and teaching.

Jon Hendricks is currently dean of the Honors College at Oregon State University and is a longtime faculty member and former chair of the Department of Sociology there. He was drawn to sociology as a way to examine the complexity of people's lives and to gerontology because, he says, "it's not in many scholarly pursuits that we find ourselves becoming the subject, as we do in aging. One of the rewards is that we come across glimmers of ourselves. And whether we integrate that into our own lives and self-concepts says a lot about how we approach our subject."

Fifteen years ago, Hendricks told an interviewer of his hopes that the next generation of gerontologists could truly build on the work of their predecessors to further research and its application to improve elders' lives. His contributions to that end have been highly influential, particularly through the strength of his many publications, editorial work on books and journals, and professional affiliations. For example, he is the series editor of Society ana Aging for Baywood and of Foundations of Gerontology (with Robert Kastenbaum) for Little, Brown. His books range from the popular introductory text, Aging in Mass Society (with C. …

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