Our Guest Editors

By Johnson, Mary | Generations, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

Our Guest Editors


Johnson, Mary, Generations


The notion of retirement and the ways it is put into practice are both old and new. History tells us that people have always desired to reduce their labors at the end of life, just as they have always needed some plan to transfer authority and resources to younger generations. "The motive to withdraw and the need to have social succession have always been there," says David Ekerdt, "but how this works out is always changing-and that's what is interesting"

To bring readers up to date and to provide perspective on the new realities of work and retirement, Generations has invited Ekerdt, one of the premier researchers in the field, and Helen Dennis, a specialist on aging, employment, and retirement planning, to collaborate as guest editors for this issue. Their scholarly and practical work has spanned the growth of retirement as an area of study.

David Ekerdt is a professor of sociology and senior research scientist at the Gerontology Center of the University of Kansas. He was formerly on the faculties of Boston University and Harvard, served as a research sociologist for the Boston VA's long-term Normative Aging Study, is the former editor of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, and has published widely on retirement and health and the social and psychological aspects of retirement. His research has been credited with dispelling many of the stereotypical images of retirement- as detrimental to health and relationships, for one.

Ekerdt, who edited the first issue of Generations on retirement more than ten years ago, describes an evolving field. "These days, retirement is no longer simply a concern of late middle-age," he says. "Now it is largely an issue across adulthood, a more general concern, because of the financial responsibility we are supposed to have for our own retirement. I am just fascinated by the explosion of interest in and information about the subject.

"Retirement, when I began, was mainly a problem of personal adjustment. Those questions have now been settled. By and large, people did find retirement to be satisfying. The questions now are more about demographics and economic costs to society-from personal adjustment to individual change to societal adjustments, with worries about Social Security, private pensions, the oncoming baby boom cohort. And in the 198os, we had that question about generational fairness.

"Retirement wasn't better financed in the past than it is now, but people had lower expectations. Perhaps we've seen the satisfaction of a good retirement. In the 1990s people were shown the dazzling possibilities for this. But it's going to take more money to support a longer, leisure-filled later life.

"And on the other hand," he says, " what once was a distinct transition to retirement is blurring. For many reasons, people are now thinking that it might not be bad to have longer work lives. The behavior is more complex"

Ekerdt continues to address the complexity of retirement and aging in general, most recently as editor in chief of the Macmillan Encyclopedia ging (2002), a four-volume reference work published this summer. "Our task of discovering how notions of aging and retirement mesh with reality continues to be important," he says, "for the work of practitioners and policy makers and especially so that older people and all of us can make decisions based on what is true. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Our Guest Editors
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.