cover of book

Welcome to Middle Age!: (And Other Cultural Fictions)
edited by Richard A. Shweder
University of Chicago Press, 1998
Paper: 978-0-226-75608-0 | Cloth: 978-0-226-75607-3
Library of Congress Classification HQ1059.4.W45 1998
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.244

Many of us believe we recognize the symptoms of middle age: lower back pain, mortgages, and an aversion to loud late-night activities. This particular construction of midlife, most often rendered in chronological, biological, and medical terms, has become an accepted reality to European-Americans and has recently spread to such non-Western capitals as Tokyo and New Delhi. Welcome to Middle Age! (And Other Cultural Fictions) explores the significance of this pervasive cultural representation alongside the alternative "fictions" that represent the life course in other regions of the world where middle age does not exist.

In this volume, anthropologists, behavioral scientists, and historians explore topics ranging from the Western ideology of "midlife decline" to cultural representations of mature adulthood that operate without the category of middle age. The result is a fascinating, panoramic collection that explores the myths surrounding and the representations of mature adulthood and of those years in the life span from thirty to seventy.

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