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Some help with a college research paper on aging? - Life After 50 or No Longer Useful, Desired or Seen

About Some help with a college research paper on aging?

Previous Entry Some help with a college research paper on aging? Oct. 16th, 2005 @ 02:17 pm Next Entry
Hi everybody,

This seems to be the perfect community in which to post this, so I hope you don't mind. I'm taking a 2 question survey for a research paper contrasting the way elderly women are portrayed in the media, and what elderly women have in actuality to offer society. Answers can be brief (a few words) to extensive. All answers will be recorded as anonymous and confidential.

The survey is at "http://www.livejournal.com/~poets_hand/18520.html?nc=16"

You can post anonymously, as your answers will be anonymous.

Thank you all for your participation.

-poets_hand
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From:poets_hand
Date:October 18th, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
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Sorry if my choice of words is lacking. I use over 65 to define elderly as many women are very young at 90 and many are very old at 60. Most women I've talked to have been OK with my choice of words, as they understand what I am trying to get at. I also don't see elderly as an insult, as it seems to be in our society, but as a term of respect in the vein of Native Elders.

I hope I won't die when I'm 45; I'm already 38!

How would you personally define elderly?
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From:poets_hand
Date:October 18th, 2005 02:23 pm (UTC)
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That's interesting; I didn't think of it in that light. To me, elderly is also how you describe people over 65, and that is the basis of my paper; that we undervalue women over 65 in our society, and they have much more to offer than television images would have you believe. Your descriptions actually help to make my point, in that we think of elderly as "living in the care of others", where in actuality there are 90 year old women still living independently and living full lives. It's interesting that you use 80 as the cutoff. What do you think the cutoff would be if you were 78? ;)

I used 65 because it's the minimum retirement age now, so that would be the age group who are moving away from taking care of families, and primary careers, and refocusing their lives on themselves, their community, and their spiritual selves, or on careers with new meanings rather than careers to 'pay the mortgage'. Through my research I'm finding these women eager to be role models for younger women, to be mentors, spiritual or faith guides, to want to been seen as powerful, wise, experienced, anything but 'living in the care of others'.

Thank you for this conversation; it's very valuable to me. If you have anything else to add, I'd be grateful to hear it.

-Stephanie
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