By Jan Baars
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Additional info for Ageing, meaning and social structure : connecting critical and humanistic gerontology
Such contrasts create significant variations in the construction of ageing – national, transnational, sub-cultural – producing, as a result, new questions and perspectives for research in gerontology (Dannefer and Phillipson, 2010). An enduring question here concerns the tension between the retention of boundaries 22 Connecting meaning with social structure between different life stages, and opposing trends towards more open, flexible lifestyles. Social gerontology as a discipline was itself founded on the notion of people occupying roles specific to certain periods of life.
Such a language uses contrasting concepts such as high and low, better and worse, integrated and fragmented. Personal choices based on dialogue and strong evaluations create an authentic way of life. Ethics of virtue Two schools have dominated political ethics during the past few decades: liberalism and communitarianism. The communitarian Alasdair MacIntyre saw man as a social being, that is, morality founded within the community, and people forming a political community from a shared history. According to MacIntyre, Western society has lost any comprehension of morality.
Leys (eds) Morbid symptoms: Health under capitalism, Socialist Register 2010, London: Lawrence & Derrida, J. (2010) Voice and phenomenon: Introduction to the problem of the sign in Husserl’s phenomenology, Chicago, IL: Northwestern University Press. Descartes, R. (1994) Discourse on method: Meditations and principles, London: Everyman. Dittmann-Kohli, F. (2007) ‘Temporal references in the construction of self-identity: a life-span approach’, in J. Baars and H. Visser (eds) Ageing and time: Multidisciplinary perspectives,Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing, pp 83-119.