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Transforming concepts of ageing: three case studies from anthropology 

Transforming concepts of ageing: three case studies from anthropology
Transforming concepts of ageing: three case studies from anthropology

Sharon R. Kaufman

, Julie Livingston

, Hong Zhang

, and Margaret Lock

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date: 24 September 2021

Anthropological approaches to the study of old age are briefly outlined. Such research gives emphasis to the cultural, social, and political contexts of aging, and to the subjective experience of growing old and the role of the family in supporting its oldest members. In recent years the impact of aging populations world wide, together with the global spread of biomedical knowledge and technologies have become of central importance in anthropological research. Three case studies from Botswana, China, and the United States dramatically illustrate the enormous difference that economic development, political incentives, medical facilities, and technological interventions have on the experience of aging, and on families supporting their older members.

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