By Leni Marshall
Deconstructs fiction and nonfiction to extra understandings of ways getting older and outdated age are created.
In full of life, obtainable prose, this booklet expands the succeed in and intensity of age stories. A assessment of age reports equipment in thought, literature, and perform leads readers to work out how their very own intersectional identities form their ideals approximately age, getting older, and previous age. This learn asks readers to interrogate the “texts” of menopause, self-help books on getting older, and foundational age reports works. as well as the learn of those nonfiction texts, the poetry and prose of Doris Lessing, Lucille Clifton, and Louise Erdrich function autos for exploring how age kin paintings, together with how they invoke readers into kinships of reciprocal care as othermothers, otherdaughters, and otherelders. The literary chapters research how proficient storytellers offer enactments, portrayals, and metaphorical makes use of of age to create transformative strength.
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Extra info for Age Becomes Us: Constructions of Bodies and Gender (SUNY Series in Feminist Criticism and Theory)
I am not alone in this experience, especially among Caucasian Americans. 44 AGE BECOMES US Twenty-five percent of American women hear nothing from their mothers about menopause, and talk among peers about menopause often takes the form of humor or self-deprecation; health professionals serve as an information source for only 16 percent of women (Mansfield 98–100; Johnson). Generally, North American women learn about menopause from the media: magazine and journal articles, the Internet, and popular medical books.
7 The variability of age based on one’s relative, situational age further destabilizes the category. The normative, “naturalized notion of the body is itself a consequence of taboos that render that body discrete by virtue of its stable boundaries” (J. Butler, Gender 132–3, emphasis in the original). I add normative to natural, because according to Butler, the very question of what part(s) are natural always already creates a discursively regulated body. That is, the discursive ability to separate the parts of the body from each other, in and of itself, fragments the perceptions of the Deconstructing the Body Through Age Studies 31 body.
This delineation also solidifies the boundaries between groups (see Sollors 255; Callaghan 196)— the opposite of the work Age Becomes Us: Bodies and Gender in Time seeks to accomplish. Also, the groups about which one might be barred from speaking usually are groups already experiencing cultural oppression and Othering. Thus, those groups’ voices already are marginalized; requiring marginality further limits the number of people who may speak, which can lead to more silencing. In classroom teaching, for instance, this effect plays out across multiple identity categories.