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Childhood and Old Age: Equals or Opposites?

Childhood and Old Age: Equals or Opposites? (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Who hasn't heard of elderly people "in their second childhood" -- or of children who "grow old before their time"? Expressions such as these bear witness to the fact that a variety of images and expectations attach themselves to biological age. When various ages are set side by side in contrast to each other, these images and expectations become apparent. "Childhood and old Age" lies at opposite ends of life's trajectory and so are quite distinct. The child finds itself at life's starting-point, the old person at its close. And yet there are in many areas more similarities than differences. Both children and old people live an institutionalised, economically unproductive and sheltered life and, in our late modern society, are completely dependent on middle-aged adults. Both age groups are objects of commercial, medical-scientific and pedagogical interest. The aim of this anthology is to confront expectations of childhood with expectations of old age. The focus is not, then, on age as a biological phenomenon, but on preconceptions of age and on the ways in which man, at different times and in different cultures, has dealt with age.

The articles view their subject from both historical and contemporary standpoints, and there is an attempt to answer questions about age in the society of the future, where biological lifespans will be challenged by gene technology and improved living conditions.

More books by Jorgen Povlsen

More books by Ning De Coninck-Smith

More books by Signe Mellemgaard

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