Old Age

Throughout U.S. history, American attitudes to aging among males have changed from veneration to condescension to an emerging understanding of the potential rewards of a long life. These shifts, along with changing expectations about reaching old age, have transformed the social and cultural relations between old age and masculinity. The relative rarity of old age among men in early America both enhanced and detracted from the status it carried. Only about 2 percent of the first European colonists could expect to reach the age of sixty-five, and until the mid–twentieth century only a minority of American men lived to old age. More recently, an increasing expectation of a longer and fuller life span— brought about by advances in science and social agency—has prompted both the ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles