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Blurring The Boundaries: The Declining Significance of Age

Blurring The Boundaries: The Declining Significance of Age (Hardback)

£115.00
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Synopsis

Over the decades, the lines separating young- middle-aged-, and older adults have blurred, as indicated by a broadening of the appropriate years for making life decisions. Not only are many people marrying later, but some are marrying earlier than ever. Overall, women giving birth later, but some are having children earlier in their lives. Older people are retiring later, but some are retiring at a younger age. The spread or variability (standard deviation) of age-based decisions has increased substantially, giving adults greater freedom from the traditional constraints of age. With these relaxed age norms has come a host of related social problems. The relaxation of age norms for adult decision-making has inadvertently blurred the boundaries between adults and teenagers, between teenagers and children. This generalization of the phenomenon throughout the life cycle is responsible for the adultification of childhood.

Eight year old girls are, to an increasing extent, being treated as sexual objects; bullying peaks in the 6th grade; larger numbers of girls are having oral sex or sexual intercourse by the age of 15; the pregnancy rate for girls 13-15 is on the rise; we are in the process of dismantling the juvenile justice system in favor of adult forms of punishment; and more and more children are left without adult supervision in the afternoons, as though they were miniature adults who are capable of raising themselves. Jack Levin is the American Sociological Association's 2009 Winner of the "Public Understanding of Sociology" Award. This short book communicates the power and importance of sociological thinking to major, worldwide social trends. Ideal for use in undergraduate courses such as introductory sociology, social problems, and social change as well as more advanced courses in population, or sociology of aging.

Jack Levin is the Irving and Betty Brudnick Professor in the Department of Sociology at Northeastern University, where he co-directs its Center on Conflict and Violence and teaches courses on the sociology of violence and hate. Levin is well-known for his work in the area of criminology. He has authored or co-authored a number of books including Serial Killers and Sadistic Murderers-Up Close and Personal and The Violence of Hate. It is less known that Levin also has had a longstanding interest in social gerontology, having written on age and aging for articles in the Gerontologist, Research on Aging, International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Aging, Sociological Forum, Youth and Society, and Journal of Research in Education and co-authoring (with William J. Levin) the book, Ageism: Prejudice and Discrimination Against the Elderly. Levin has also published opinion articles in newspapers including the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Dallas Morning News, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Levin was recently a recipient of the following awards: In 2004-2005, the Eastern Sociological Society's Robin Williams Distinguished Lectureship; In 2009, the Apple Award for Exemplary Contributions to the Teaching of Sociology by the New England Sociological Association; In 2009-2010, the Public Understanding of Sociology Award by the American Sociological Association; and in 2011, the Lester F. Ward Distinguished Contribution to Applied and Clinical Sociology Award by the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology.

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