The Other within Us: Feminist Explorations of Women and Aging

By Marilyn Pearsall | Go to book overview

the analysis of women's conditions provides convenient opportunities for politicians to target for intervention those women who are the least fiscally and politically costly. As a result, women may become divided because only some will benefit from the selective targeting of putatively limited resources.

A more complex understanding of old age poverty is needed by gerontology scholars and activists. Single-variable conceptualizations of political economic dynamics (whether based on gender, race, age or any other variable) may serve short-term consciousness-raising functions for select categories of people. But the detail necessary for the formulation of well-targeted social policies cannot be provided ( Whittington, 1986). And in the long run, the potential for broadbased political alliances among the heterogeneous people comprising the working poor, the underclass, and other economically vulnerable groups in the U.S. can be undermined. Gerontologists have realized the diversity contained within age groups; likewise they must recognize the diversity within gender groups and move beyond the feminization of poverty argument. To do so does not require abandoning concern over women's disproportionate impoverishment. But it does require abandoning appealing political rhetoric that is built on an incomplete model of the U.S. political economy.


Notes

Appreciation is expressed to Gerri Moreland and Frank Whittington for their contributions to the project.


References

Anderson, M. L. ( 1983). Thinking about women: Sociological and feminist Perspectives. New York: Macmillan.

Baron, H. M. ( 1985). "Racism transformed: The implications of the 1960s". Review of Radical Political Economics, 17, 10-33.

Burnham, L. ( 1985). "Has poverty been feminized in Black America?" The Black Scholar, 16, 14-24.

Collins, S. M. ( 1983). The making of the Black middle class. Social Problems, 30, 369-382.

Davis, A. ( 1981). Women, race & class. New York: Vintage Books.

Dill, B. T. ( 1983). "Race, class, and gender: Prospects for an all-inclusive sisterhood". Feminist Studies, 9, 131-150.

Dressel, P. ( 1986). "Civil rights, affirmative action, and the aged of the future: Will life chances be different for Blacks, Hispanics, and women? An overview of the issues". The Gerontologist, 26, 128-131.

Ehrenreich, B., & Piven, F. F. ( 1984). "The feminization of poverty". Dissent, 31, 162-170.

Ehrenreich, B., & Stallard, K. ( 1982). "The nouveau poor. Ms.", 11, 217-224.

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The Other within Us: Feminist Explorations of Women and Aging
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 16
  • Part One - Situating 17
  • 1 - The Double Standard of Aging 19
  • 2 - Portnoy's Mother's Complaints 25
  • 3 - The Plight of Older Black Women 37
  • References 41
  • 4 - The Feminization of Poverty Among the Elderly 43
  • Notes 54
  • 5 - Older Women in the City 57
  • Notes 68
  • Part Two - Problematizing 71
  • 6 Friends or Foes - Gerontological and Feminist Theory 73
  • Notes 91
  • References 91
  • 7 Heresy in the Female Body - The Rhetorics of Menopause 95
  • Notes 110
  • References 110
  • 8 Gender, Race, and Class - Beyond the Feminization of Poverty in Later Life 113
  • Notes 119
  • References 119
  • 9 - The View from Over the Hill 121
  • Notes 134
  • 10 - Adult Daughters and Care for the Elderly 135
  • Notes 146
  • 11 What Setting Limits May Mean - A Feminist Critique of Danielcallahan's Setting Limits 151
  • Notes 158
  • References 159
  • Part Three - Representing 161
  • 12 Sunset Boulevard - Fading Stars 163
  • Notes 175
  • 13 - Remembering Our Foremothers Older Black Women, Politics of Age, Politics of Survival as Embodied in the Novels of Toni Morrison 177
  • Notes 193
  • 14 Visible Difference - Women Artists and Aging 197
  • Notes 214
  • 15 - Time Will Tell 221
  • Part Four - Privileging 227
  • 16 - Toward Another Dimension . . . 229
  • 17 - Indian Summer 233
  • 18 - In the Heat of Shadow 239
  • 19 - Mirror of Strength Portrait of Two Chilean Arpilleristas 243
  • 20 - The Space Crone 249
  • 21 - Serenity and Power 253
  • Notes 273
  • Credits 275
  • About the Book and Editor 277
  • About the Contributors 279
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