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Crossing Frontiers
Gerontology Emerges as a Science


  • Date Published: November 1995
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521558808

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About the Authors
  • Although philosophers, physicians, and others have long pondered the meanings and experiences of growing older, gerontology did not emerge as a scientific field of inquiry in the United States until the twentieth century. The study of aging borrows from a variety of other disciplines, including medicine, psychology, sociology and anthropology, but its own scientific basis is still developing. Despite dozens of aging-related journals, and a notable increase in state, regional, national and international networks, there are no widely shared techniques or distinctive methods. Theories of aging remain partial and tentative. By tracing intellectual networks and analyzing institutional patterns, Crossing Frontiers shows how old age became a 'problem' worth investigating and how a multidisciplinary orientation took shape. Gerontology is a marginal intellectual enterprise but its very strengths and weaknesses illuminate the politics of specialization and academic turf-fighting in U.S. higher education.

    • Was the first book-length study of the history of gerontology
    • Exhaustively researched
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1995
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521558808
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.414kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Two Precursors
    1. Surveying the Frontiers of Aging
    2. Setting Boundaries for Disciplined Discoveries
    3. Establishing Outposts for Multidisciplinary Research on Aging
    4. Organizing the Gerontological Society to Promote Interdisciplinary Research Amid Disciplinary and Professional Constriction
    5. Risk-taking in the Modern Research University – The Fate of Multidisciplinary Institutes on Aging
    6. The Federal Government as Sponsor, Producer, and Consumer of Research on Aging
    7. Gerontology in the Service of America's Aging Veterans
    The Current State of the Field
    Reconstructing Gerontology

  • Author

    W. Andrew Achenbaum, Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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