Last updated October 6, 2021
This is a list of books available for review in Anthropology & Aging. If you are interested in reviewing one of these titles or have a suggestion for a book that you would like to see reviewed, please send this information, including the book format you prefer (we encourage e-versions whenever available) to the Anthropology & Aging book reviews editor, Christine Verbruggen (christine.verbruggen(at)kuleuven.be) and register your full name, address, and a brief description of your areas of expertise or background that qualifies you for writing a review in the author submission portal of Anthropology & Aging. If your request is approved, you will receive additional instructions on composing the review. Reviews are typically 750-900 words long and submitted within three months of the receipt of the title. Reviews for films, performances, exhibits, or other media with relevance to the anthropology of aging are also welcome, but we ask that you contact the book reviews editor before proceeding with the review.
Armengol, Joseph M., ed. 2021. Aging Masculinities in Contemporary U.S. Fiction
This book focuses on representations of aging masculinities in contemporary U.S. fiction, including shifting perceptions of physical and sexual prowess, depression, and loss, but also greater wisdom and confidence, legacy, as well as new affective patterns. The collection also incorporates factors such as race, sexuality and religion. The volume includes studies, amongst others, on Philip Roth, Paul Auster, Toni Morrison, Ernest Gaines, and Edmund White. Ultimately, this study proves that men’s aging experiences as described in contemporary U.S. literature and culture are as complex and varied as those of their female counterparts.
Illustrates how social notions of masculinity not only affect their cultural representations, but also how such representations may, and indeed do, effect social change, providing alternative models of aging masculinities that challenge social prejudices of the same.
Draws upon both an interdisciplinary and intersectional methodology, examining not only the interrelationship of age and gender, as well as aging and gender studies, but also cultural variations by factors like race, ethnicity, sexuality, and religious affiliation.
Questions the widely held assumption that aging is less of an issue for men through close readings of contemporary works.
Batzke, Ina, Lea Espinoza Garrido, and Linda Hess, eds. 2021. Life-Writing in the Posthuman Anthropocene
Life Writing in the Posthuman Anthropocene is a timely collection of insightful contributions that negotiate how the genre of life writing, traditionally tied to the human perspective and thus anthropocentric qua definition, can provide adequate perspectives for an age of ecological disasters and global climate change. The volume’s eight chapters illustrate the aptness of life writing and life writing studies to critically reevaluate the role of “the human” vis-à-vis non-human others while remaining mindful of persisting inequalities between humans regarding who causes and who suffers damage in the Anthropocene age. The authors in this collection not only expand the toolbox of life writing studies by engaging with critical insights from the fields of posthumanism and ecocriticism, but, in turn, also enrich those fields by offering unique approaches to contemplate the responsibility of humans for as well as their relational existence in the posthuman Anthropocene.
Bauer-Maglin, Nan, ed. 2019. Widows': Words Women Write on the Experience of Grief, the First Year, the Long Haul, and Everything in Between
Bauer-Maglin, Nan, ed. 2019. Widows’ Words Women Write on the Experience of Grief, the First Year, the Long Haul, and Everything in Between. Rutgers University Press. Price: $28,5 (Paperback)
Becoming a widow is one of the most traumatic life events that a woman can experience. Yet, as this remarkable new collection reveals, each woman responds to that trauma differently. Here, forty-three widows tell their stories, in their own words.
Some were widowed young, while others were married for decades. Some cared for their late partners through long terminal illnesses, while others lost their partners suddenly. Some had male partners, while others had female partners. Yet each of these women faced the same basic dilemma: how to go on living when a part of you is gone.
Widows’ Words is arranged chronologically, starting with stories of women preparing for their partners’ deaths, followed by the experiences of recent widows still reeling from their fresh loss, and culminating in the accounts of women who lost their partners many years ago but still experience waves of grief. Their accounts deal honestly with feelings of pain, sorrow, and despair, and yet there are also powerful expressions of strength, hope, and even joy. Whether you are a widow yourself or have simply experienced loss, you will be sure to find something moving and profound in these diverse tales of mourning, remembrance, and resilience.
Bitenc, Rebecca A. 2019. Reconsidering Dementia Narratives: Empathy, Identity and Care
Bitenc, Rebecca A. 2019. Reconsidering Dementia Narratives: Empathy, Identity and Care. New York: Routledge. pp 272.
Reconsidering Dementia Narratives explores the role of narrative in developing new ways of understanding, interacting with, and caring for people with dementia. It asks how the stories we tell about dementia – in fiction, life writing and film – both reflect and shape the way we think about this important condition.
Highlighting the need to attend to embodied and relational aspects of identity in dementia, the study further outlines ways in which narratives may contribute to dementia care, while disputing the idea that the modes of empathy fostered by narrative necessarily bring about more humane care practices. This cross-medial analysis represents an interdisciplinary approach to dementia narratives which range across auto/biography, graphic narrative, novel, film, documentary and collaborative storytelling practices. The book aims to clarify the limits and affordances of narrative, and narrative studies, in relation to an ethically driven medical humanities agenda through the use of case studies.
Answering the key question of whether dementia narratives align with or run counter to the dominant discourse of dementia as ‘loss of self’, this innovative book will be of interest to anyone interested in dementia studies, ageing studies, narrative studies in health care, and critical medical humanities.
Bures, Regina M. and Nancy R. Gee. 2021. Well-being over the Life Course: Incorporating Human-animal Interactions
This book provides a multidisciplinary overview of the impact of human–animal interaction on well-being from childhood to later life. It presents a life course perspective to the study of human–animal interaction, addressing concepts of family and the role of pets therein, as well as the impact of companion animals on child development and successful aging. This book fills a gap in the existing literature by framing the study of human–animal interaction, including the role of animal-assisted interventions on well-being, in a broader social and behavioral context.
Ceci, Christine and Mary Ellen Perkis. 2021. Care at Home for People Living with Dementia: Delaying Institutionalisation, Sustaining Families
Ceci, Christine and Mary Ellen Perkis. 2021. Care at Home for People Living with Dementia: Delaying Institutionalisation, Sustaining Families. Bristol: Policy Press. pp. 208. Price: $101,4 (Hardcover); $36,5 (eBook)
What ‘kind’ of community is demanded by a problem like dementia?
As aspects of care continue to transition from institutional to community and home settings, this book considers the implications for people living with dementia and their carers.
Drawing on extensive fieldwork and case studies from Canada, this book analyses the intersections of formal dementia strategies and the experiences of families and others on the frontlines of care.
Considering the strains placed on care systems by the COVID-19 pandemic, this book looks afresh at what makes home-based care possible or impossible and how these considerations can help establish a deeper understanding necessary for good policy and practice.
Christensen, Janelle. 2018. Eldercare, Health, and Ecosyndemics in a Perilous World
Humans are at a unique crossroads: never before have we had such a clear understanding of how our actions affect a changing climate, or how our settlement patterns along coastal environments put us at risk of rising sea levels. However, the science behind climate change (and solutions for it) are engulfed in political controversy. Dr. Christensen uses anthropological methods to illuminate the lived experience of families caring for elder relatives during climate related events: a unique conundrum facing increasing numbers of people living in coastal areas.
As populations in industrialized countries grow older, they become more vulnerable to climate extremes. People over 65 are more likely to die in climate related events, such as heatwaves, hurricanes, and blizzards. Dr. Christensen presents the scientific evidence for climate change, the archaeological record on how humans responded to climatic shifts in the past, and explains how the current challenges are different. Using the theoretical framework of Singer’s Syndemics, she explores how aging bodies are more vulnerable to increased environmental toxins, which is further exacerbated by climate fluctuations. A central question is: how do we value our environment, our elders, and make decisions about well-being throughout the life course?
Coe, Cati. 2021. Changes in Care: Aging, Migration, and Social Class in West Africa
Africa is known both for having a primarily youthful population and for its elders being held in high esteem. However, this situation is changing: people in Africa are living longer, some for many years with chronic, disabling illnesses. In Ghana, many older people, rather than experiencing a sense of security that they will be respected and cared for by the younger generations, feel anxious that they will be abandoned and neglected by their kin. In response to their concerns about care, they and their kin are exploring new kinds of support for aging adults, from paid caregivers to social groups and senior day centers. These innovations in care are happening in fits and starts, in episodic and scattered ways, visible in certain circles more than others. By examining emergent discourses and practices of aging in Ghana, Changes in Care makes an innovative argument about the uneven and fragile processes by which some social change occurs.
There is a short film that accompanies the book, “Making Happiness: Older People Organize Themselves” (2020), an 11-minute film by Cati Coe. Available at: https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/t3-thke-hp15
Cohan, Deborah J. 2020. Welcome to Wherever We Are: A Memory of Family, Caregiving and Redemption
Cohan, Deborah J. 2020. Welcome to Wherever We Are: A Memory of Family, Caregiving and Redemption. Rutgers University Press. Price: $26,95 (Hardcover and e-Book).
How do you go about caregiving for an ill and elderly parent with a lifelong history of abuse and control, intertwined with expressions of intense love and adoration? How do you reconcile the resulting ambivalence, fear, and anger?
Welcome to Wherever We Are is a meditation on what we hold onto, what we let go of, how we remember others and ultimately how we’re remembered. Deborah Cohan shares her story of caring for her father, a man who was simultaneously loud, gentle, loving and cruel and whose brilliant career as an advertising executive included creating slogans like “Hey, how ‘bout a nice Hawaiian punch?” Wrestling with emotional extremes that characterize abusive relationships, Cohan shows how she navigated life with a man who was at once generous and affectionate, creating magical coat pockets filled with chocolate kisses when she was a little girl, yet who was also prone to searing, vicious remarks like “You’d make my life easier if you’d commit suicide.”
In this gripping memoir, Cohan tells her unique personal story while also weaving in her expertise as a sociologist and domestic abuse counselor to address broader questions related to marriage, violence, divorce, only children, intimacy and loss. A story most of us can relate to as we reckon with past and future choices against the backdrop of complicated family dynamics, Welcome to Wherever We Are is about how we might come to live our own lives better amidst unpredictable changes through grief and healing.
Clotworthy, Amy. 2020. Empowering the Elderly? How ‘Help to Self-help’ Health Interventions Shape Ageing and Eldercare in Denmark
Health programmes that offer ‘help to self-help’ are meant to empower ageing adults to remain independent and self-sufficient at home for as long as possible. But what happens when the private home becomes a political realm in which state intervention and individual agency happen simultaneously? Based on 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork in a Danish municipality, Amy Clotworthy describes how both health professionals and elderly citizens negotiate the political discourses about health and ageing that frame their relational encounter. By elucidating some of the conflicts, paradoxes, and negotiations that occur, she provides important insights into the contemporary organisation of eldercare.
Crăciun, Irina Catrinel. 2019. Positive Aging and Precarity Theory, Policy, and Social Reality within a Comparative German Context
This book explores positive aging through the lens of precarity, aiming to ground positive aging theories in current social contexts. In recent years, research on aging has been branded by growing disagreements between supporters of the successful aging model and critical gerontologists who highlight the widening inequalities, disadvantages and precarity that characterize old age. This book comes to fill a gap in knowledge by offering an alternative view on positive aging, informed by precarity and its impact on projections concerning aging.
The first part of the book places aging in broader theoretical and empirical context, exploring the complex links between views on aging, successful aging theories, policy and social reality. The second part uses results from a qualitative research conducted in Germany to illustrate the dissonance between successful aging ideals and both negative and positive views on aging as well as aging preparation strategies inspired by precarity. Findings from this section provide a solid starting point for comparisons with countries that are both similar and different from Germany in terms of welfare regimes and aging policies. The final part of the book discusses the psychological implications of these findings within and beyond the German case study and outlines potential solutions for practice.
This book provides health psychologists, gerontologists, sociologists, social workers, health professionals as well as students and aging individuals themselves with better understanding of the meaning of aging in precarious times and builds confidence about aging well despite precarity.
DeJong Newendorp, Nicole. 2020. Chinese Senior Migrants and the Globalization of Retirement
The 21st century has seen growing numbers of seniors turning to migration in response to newfound challenges to traditional forms of retirement and old-age support, such as increased longevity, demographically aging populations, and global neoliberal trends reducing state welfare. Chinese-born migrants to the U.S. serve as an exemplary case of this trend, with 30 percent of all migrants since 1990 being at least 60 years old. This book tells their story, arguing that they demonstrate the significance of age as a mediating factor that is fundamentally important for considering how migration is experienced. The subjects of this study are situated at the crossroads of Chinese immigrant and Chinese-American experiences, embodying many of the ambiguities and paradoxes that complicate common understandings of each group. These are older individuals who have waited their whole lives to migrate to the U.S. to rejoin family but often experience unanticipated family conflict when they arrive. They are retirees living at the social and economic margins of American society who nonetheless find significant opportunities to achieve meaningful retired lifestyles. They are members of a diaspora spanning vast regional and ideological differences, yet their wellbeing hinges on everyday interactions with others in this diverse community. Their stories highlight the many possibilities for mutual engagement that connect Chinese and American ways of being and belonging in the world.
Deszcz-Tryhubczak, Justyna and Irena Barbara Kalla, eds. 2021. Children’s Literature and Intergenerational Relationships: Encounters of the Playful Kind
Deszcz-Tryhubczak, Justyna and Irena Barbara Kalla, eds. 2021. Children’s Literature and Intergenerational Relationships: Encounters of the Playful Kind. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. xvii, 252. Price : $122,85 (Hardcover) ; $99 (eBook)
Children’s Literature and Intergenerational Relationships: Encounters of the Playful Kind explores ways in which children’s literature becomes the object and catalyst of play that brings younger and older generations closer to one another. Providing examples from diverse cultural and historical contexts, this collection argues that children’s texts promote intergenerational play through the use of literary devices and graphic formats and that they may prompt joint play practices in the real world. The book offers a distinctive contribution to children’s literature scholarship by shifting critical attention away from the difference and conflict between children and adults to the exploration of inter-age interdependencies as equally crucial aspects of human life, presenting a new perspective for all who research and work with children’s culture in times of global aging.
Fletcher, David-Jack. 2021. Age as Disease: Anti-Aging Technologies, Sites, and Practices
Age as Disease explores the foundations of gerontology as a discipline to examine the ways contemporary society constructs old age as a disease-state. Framed throughout as ‘gerontological hygeine’, this book examines contemporary regimes, strategies and treatment protocols deployed throughout Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The book deploys critical cultural theories such as biopolitics, somatechnics, ethics, and governmentality to examine how anti-aging technologies operate to problematise the aging body as always-already diseased, and how these come to constitute a movement of abolition, named here as ‘gerontological hygiene’.
Garvey, Pauline and Daniel Miller. 2021. Ageing with Smartphones in Ireland: When life becomes craft.
Garvey, Pauline and Daniel Miller. Ageing with Smartphones in Ireland: When life becomes craft. London: UCL Press. 2021. pp. 254. Price: $63.7 (Hardcover); $35.4 (Paperback); Open Access (PDF).
There are not many books about how people get younger. It doesn’t happen very often. But Ageing with Smartphones in Ireland documents a radical change in the experience of ageing.
Based on two ethnographies, one within Dublin and the other from the Dublin region, the book shows that people, rather than seeing themselves as old, focus on crafting a new life in retirement. Our research participants apply new ideals of sustainability both to themselves and to their environment. They go for long walks, play bridge, do yoga and keep as healthy as possible. As part of Ireland’s mainstream middle class, they may have more time than the young to embrace green ideals and more money to move to energy-efficient homes, throw out household detritus and protect their environment.
Gramshammer-Hhol, Dagmar and Oana Ursulesku eds. 2020. Foreign Countries of Old Age: East and Southeast European Perspectives on Aging
Gramshammer-Hhol, Dagmar and Oana Ursulesku (eds). 2020. Foreign Countries of Old Age: East and Southeast European Perspectives on Aging. Transcript Verlag.
The exploration of what May Sarton calls the “foreign country of old age” usually does not go far beyond the familiar: the focus of aging studies has thus far clearly rested upon North America and Western Europe. This multidisciplinary essay collection critically examines conditions and representations of old age and aging in Eastern and Southeastern Europe from various perspectives of the humanities and social sciences. By shedding light on these culturally specific contexts, the contributions widen our understanding of the aging process in all its diversity and demonstrate that a shift in perspectives might in fact challenge a number of taken-for-granted positions and presumptions of aging studies.
Grenier, Amanda, Chris Phillipson and Richard A. Settersten Jr., eds. 2020. Precarity and Ageing: Understanding Insecurity and Risk in Later Life
Grenier, Amanda, Chris Phillipson and Richard A. Settersten Jr., eds. 2020. Precarity and Ageing Understanding Insecurity and Risk in Later Life (Ageing in a Global Context). Policy Press. Price: $100 (Hardcover); $33 (e-Book).
What risks and insecurities do older people face in a time of both increased longevity and widening inequality?
This edited collection develops an exciting new approach to understanding the changing cultural, economic and social circumstances facing different groups of older people. Exploring a range of topics, the chapters provide a critical review of the concept of precarity, highlighting the experiences of ageing that occur within the context of societal changes tied to declining social protection. Drawing together insights from leading voices across a range of disciplines, the book underscores the pressing need to address inequality across the life course and into later life.
King, Andrew, Kathryn Almack, and Rebecca L. Jones, eds. 2020. Intersections of Ageing, Gender and Sexualities: Multidisciplinary International Perspectives
King, Andrew, Kathryn Almack, and Rebecca L. Jones, eds. Intersections of Ageing, Gender and Sexualities: Multidisciplinary International Perspectives. London: Policy Press. 2020. pp. 264. Price: $106.00 (Hardcover); $38.00 (Paperback, eBook); Open Access (Open Research Library).
With an increasingly diverse ageing population, we need to expand our understanding of how social divisions intersect to affect outcomes in later life.
This edited collection examines ageing, gender, and sexualities from multidisciplinary and geographically diverse perspectives and looks at how these factors combine with other social divisions to affect experiences of ageing. It draws on theory and empirical data to provide both conceptual knowledge and clear ‘real-world’ illustrations.
The book includes section introductions to guide the reader through the debates and ideas and a glossary offering clear definitions of key terms and concepts.
Kleinman, A. 2019. The Soul of Care: The Moral Education of a Husband and Doctor
Kleinman, A. 2019. The Soul of Care: The Moral Education of a Husband and a Doctor. New York: Penguin Random House.
Leahy, Ann. 2021. Disability and Ageing: Towards A Critical Perspective.
Leahy, Ann. Disability and Ageing: Towards A Critical Perspective. London: Policy Press. Forthcoming (July 2021). pp. 208. Price: $106.00 (Hardcover); $38.10 (eBook).
Miller, Daniel, et al. 2021. The Global Smartphone: Beyond a Youth Technology
Miller, Daniel, Laila Abed Rabho, Patrick Awondo, Maya de Vries, Marília Duque, Pauline Garvey, Laura Haapio-Kirk, Charlotte Hawkins, Alfonso Otaegui, Shireen Walton, and Xinyuan Wang. The Global Smartphone: Beyond a Youth Technology. London: UCL Press. 2021. pp. 320. Price: $63.50 (Hardcover); $35.00 (Paperback); Open Access (eBook).
The smartphone is often literally right in front of our nose, so you would think we would know what it is. But do we? To find out, 11 anthropologists each spent 16 months living in communities in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, focusing on the take up of smartphones by older people. Their research reveals that smartphones are technology for everyone, not just for the young.
The Global Smartphone presents a series of original perspectives deriving from this global and comparative research project. Smartphones have become as much a place within which we live as a device we use to provide ‘perpetual opportunism’, as they are always with us. The authors show how the smartphone is more than an ‘app device’ and explore differences between what people say about smartphones and how they use them.
The smartphone is unprecedented in the degree to which we can transform it. As a result, it quickly assimilates personal values. In order to comprehend it, we must take into consideration a range of national and cultural nuances, such as visual communication in China and Japan, mobile money in Cameroon and Uganda, and access to health information in Chile and Ireland – all alongside diverse trajectories of ageing in Al Quds, Brazil and Italy. Only then can we know what a smartphone is and understand its consequences for people’s lives around the world.
Peace, Sheila. 2021. The Environments of Ageing – Space, Place, Materiality
Peace, Sheila. The Environments of Ageing – Space, Place, Materiality. London: Policy Press. Forthcoming (September 2021). pp. 272. Price: $106 (Hardcover); $38.10 (eBook).
Providing the first UK assessment of environmental gerontology, this book enriches current understanding of the spatiality of ageing.
Sheila Peace considers how places and spaces contextualise personal experience in varied environments, from urban and rural to general and specialised housing. Situating extensive research within multidisciplinary thinking, and incorporating policy and practice, this book assesses how personal health and well-being effect different experiences of environment. It also considers the value of intergenerational and age-related living, the meaning of home, and global to local concerns for population ageing in light of COVID-19.
Drawing on international comparisons, this book offers a valuable resource for new research and important lessons for the future.
Rinker, Courtney Hughes. 2021. Actively Dying: The Creation of Muslim Identities through End-of-Life Care in the United States.
Rinker, Courtney Hughes. Actively Dying: The Creation of Muslim Identities through End-of-Life Care in the United States. 2021. pp. 194. Price: $170 (Hardcover); $36.65 (eBook).
This book explores the experiences of Muslims in the United States as they interact with the health care system during serious illness and end-of-life care.
It shifts “actively dying” from a medical phrase used to describe patients who are expected to pass away soon or who exhibit signs of impending death, to a theoretical framework to analyze how end-of-life care, particularly within a hospital, shapes the ways that patients, families, and providers understand Islam and think of themselves as Muslim. Using the dying body as the main object of analysis, the volume shows that religious identities of Muslim patients, loved ones, and caregivers are not only created when living, but also through the physical process of dying and through death. Based on ethnographic and qualitative research carried out mainly in the Washington, D.C. region, this volume will be of interest to scholars in anthropology, sociology, public health, gerontology, and religious studies.
Salvador, Vicent and Agnese Sampietro, eds. 2020. Understanding the Discourse of Aging: A Multifaceted Perspective
There are a number of books and articles covering particular facets of the topic of aging, such as the image of the elderly in the media, cinema, TV series and commercials, and in literature, which of course provide useful background material and references. However, these studies on aging discourse predominantly focus on a single discipline. This book adds a fresh perspective, by addressing the communicative practices surrounding age, aging and the elderly from a multidisciplinary perspective.
The volume addresses several issues related to the discourse on aging, from the problems related to definitions of age to the image of the elderly in literature, cinema, and mass media, and gendered issues surrounding the aging process.
Schubert, Violeta. 2020. Modernity and the Unmaking of Men
Responding to the renewed emphasis on the significance of village studies, this book focuses on aging bachelorhood as a site of intolerable angst when faced with rural depopulation and social precarity. Based on ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in contemporary Macedonian society, the book explores the intersections between modernity, kinship and gender. It argues that as a critical consequence of demographic rupture, changing values and societal shifts, aging bachelorhood illuminates and challenges conceptualizations of performativity and social presence.
Simmonds, Bethany. 2021. Ageing and the Crisis in Health and Social Care Global and National Perspectives
Simmonds, Bethany. Ageing and the Crisis in Health and Social Care Global and National Perspectives. London: Policy Press. Forthcoming (November 2021). pp. 152. Price: $106.00 (Hardcover); $38.2 (eBook).
Neoliberal political discourses have normalised the belief in northern European countries that individuals are responsible for their health and wellbeing, regardless of social class, gender or ethnic background.
Drawing on examples from Germany, Sweden and the UK, Simmonds critically examines how the neoliberalisation and marketisation of health and social care have created an adverse environment for older people, who lack social and cultural capital to access the care they need. This crucial analysis scrutinizes provision for ageing populations on an individual, national and global level.
Challenging current political and social policy approaches, this rigorous text discusses innovative solutions to contemporary challenges in a complex care system.
Torres, Sandra. 2019. Ethnicity and Old Age: Expanding Our Imagination
Torres, Sandra. 2019. Ethnicity and Old Age: Expanding Our Imagination. London: Policy Press. 2019. pp. 220. Price: $99.00 (Hardcover); $35.4 (Paperback and eBook).
Part of the Ageing in a Global Context series, this book proposes a new research agenda for scholarship that focuses on ethnicity, race and old age. It argues that in a time of increased international migration, population ageing and ethno-cultural diversity, scholarly imagination must be expanded as current research frameworks are becoming obsolete.
By bringing attention to the way that ethnicity and race have been addressed in research on ageing and old age, with a focus on health inequalities, health and social care, intergenerational relationships and caregiving, the book proposes how research can be developed in an ethnicity astute and diversity informed manner.
Walton, Shireen. 2021. Ageing with Smartphones in Urban Italy: Care and community in Milan and Beyond.
Walton, Shireen. Ageing with Smartphones in Urban Italy: Care and community in Milan and Beyond. London: UCL Press. 2021. pp. 208. Price: $63.7 (Hardcover); $35.4 (Paperback); Open Access (PDF).
Who am I at this (st)age? Where am I and where should I be, and how and where should I live?’ These questions, which individuals ask themselves throughout their lives, are among the central themes of this book, which presents an anthropological account of the everyday experiences of age and ageing in an inner-city neighbourhood in Milan, and in places and spaces beyond. Ageing with Smartphones in Urban Italy explores ageing and digital technologies amidst a backdrop of rapid global technological innovation, including mHealth (mobile health) and smart cities, and a number of wider socio-economic and technological transformations that have brought about significant changes in how people live, work and retire, and how they communicate and care for each other.
Based on 16 months of urban digital ethnographic research in Milan, the smartphone is shown to be a ‘constant companion’ in, of and for contemporary life. It accompanies people throughout the day and night, and through individual and collective experiences of movement, change and rupture. Smartphone practices tap into and reflect the moral anxieties of the present moment, while posing questions related to life values and purpose, identities and belonging, privacy and sociability.
Through her extensive investigation, Shireen Walton argues that ageing with smartphones in this contemporary urban Italian context is about living with ambiguity, change and contradiction, as well as developing curiosities about a changing world, our changing selves, and changing relationships with and to others. Ageing with smartphones is about figuring out how best to live together, differently.
Ward, Richard, Andrew Clark, and Lynn Phillipsson. 2021. Dementia and Place: Practices, Experiences and Connections
Ward, Richard, Andrew Clark, and Lynn Phillipsson. 2021. Dementia and Place: Practices, Experiences and Connections. Bristol: Policy Press. pp. 238. Price: $ 101,7 (hardcover); $33,89 (paperback, eBook).
Giving voice to the lived experiences of people with dementia across the globe, including Australia, Canada, Sweden and the UK, this critical and evidence-based collection engages with the realities of life for people living with dementia at home and within their neighbourhoods.
This insightful text addresses the fundamental social aspects of environment, including place attachment, belonging and connectivity. The chapters reveal the potential and expose the challenges for practitioners and researchers as dementia care shifts to a neighbourhood setting.
The unique ‘neighbourhood-centred’ perspective provides an innovative guide for policy and practice and calls for a new place-based culture of care and support in the neighbourhood.
Way, Laura. 2020. Punk, Gender and Aging
Punk has traditionally been theorised within cultural studies and sociology as a male-dominated subculture within which women are marginalized. In line with feminist research values and epistemologies, Punk, Gender and Ageing gives voice to a previously marginalised sample: ageing punk women.
This is the first book to focus solely on the experiences of older punk women, going beyond recent scholarship on post-youth subcultural involvement which has demonstrated a limited exploration of the interplay between age, gender and subculture. Through areas such as music and dress, the author considers how ageing punk women continue to retain punk as significant in their lives.
Making a new and exciting contribution to a still developing field, this book, combining ageing, music subcultures and gender, will appeal to both students and scholars interested in subcultures as well as those looking at the sociology of gender and ageing.
Wender, Chaim J. and Patricia El. Morrison (eds). 2019. The hospice team: Who we are and how we care
Wender, Chaim J. and Patricia El. Morrison (eds). 2019. The hospice team: Who we are and how we care. Baltimore: Health Professions Press.
This singular work offers a truly interdisciplinary team perspective on caring, presented by 21 veterans of hospice service representing the array of disciplines in effective teams—physicians, nurses, certified nurse assistants, social workers, chaplains, music therapists, bereavement counselors, a volunteer coordinator, and a volunteer of more than 26 years. Contributors share professional and personal experiences that encompass the medical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, interpersonal, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of dying and bereavement. These are brought together through a person-centered approach that champions knowing each person being cared for to create the necessary opportunity for communication and trust that are the hallmarks of high-quality hospice care.
Edith and Eddie (2017 film, 29min)
95 and 6 to Go (2016 film, 85min)
Filmmaker Kimi Takesue finds an unlikely collaborator while visiting her grandfather Tom in Hawai’i. A recent widower in his 90s, Tom seems content to go about his daily routines until he shows surprising interest in his granddaughter’s stalled romantic screenplay. In alternately funny and poignant discussions, Kimi’s fictional love story – and Tom’s creative revisions – serve as a vehicle for his past memories of love and loss to surface.
Shot over six years, this intimate meditation on family and absence expands the vernacular of the “home movie” to consider how history is accumulated in the everyday and how sparks of humor and creativity can animate an ordinary life.
Tote Abuelo (2019. film) 80min
Sojob, María. Tote_Abuelo. Terra Nostra Films/ Foprocine Imcine. 2019.
In her deeply personal debut documentary feature, Tzotzil filmmaker María Sojob documents the unexpected encounter between an old man, who is going blind, and his granddaughter, who has a limited memory of her childhood. As the grandfather weaves a traditional hat, the threads of family history are untangled. Between the silences, it becomes possible to understand the meaning of love in Tzotzil. A deceptively simple film, Tote/Abuelo/Grandfather is a complex portrait that contrasts the point of view of a younger generation with a traditional world that was largely marginalized. (source: https://arts.columbia.edu/events/toteabuelograndfather-spring-2021).
half elf (2020. documentary film. 65min)
Magnússon, Jón Bjarki. Half Elf. SKAK biofilm. 2020. (https://skakbiofilm.com/).
Hulda and Trausti have shared a roof on Icelandic shores for over seventy years. Her love of books is matched by his love of stones. When he bursts out singing, she begs him to stop screaming, when he tells her he wants to change his name to “Elf” she warns his family will abandon him. Now, as his one hundredth birthday nears and Trausti senses the hand of death upon him he is on a quest to find the coffin that can carry this elf back to the mysteries beyond…. Meanwhile, Hulda retreats into a world of poetry with the help of an electric magnifying glass. Half Elf is a modern Icelandic fairy-tale, where life is celebrated – despite everything, despite ourselves and despite the reality that awaits all of us in the end.
Death of the One Who Knows (2020. documentary film)
Rappoport, Dana. Death of the One Who Knows [documentary film]. Le Miroir. 2020.
In the Toraja highlands of Sulawesi (Indonesia), Lumbaa is one of the last masters of ritual speech. After his forced conversion to Pentecostalism, he is compelled to stop all his ritual activity and oratory. Concerned by the disappearance of “those who know”, a young Catholic priest named Yans Sulo sets out in search of the society’s ancient oral genres, seeking to invent new forms that would keep them alive. The two men meet, but it is too late. By recounting the life and death of Lumbaa, the film shows how the intrusion of a world religion disrupts a Southeast Asian society.