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Dale Dannefer & Robin Shura Patterson

In: Handbook of Cognitive Aging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Chapter 6: The Missing Person: Some Limitations in the Contemporary Study of Cognitive Aging

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The Missing Person: Some Limitations in the Contemporary Study of Cognitive Aging
The missing person: Some limitations in the contemporary study of cognitive aging

This chapter offers a sociological perspective on cognition, human development, and aging. The sociological lens brings into focus several questions that receive relatively little attention in the prevailing discourses of cognitive aging yet are fundamental to an adequate understanding of age, cognition, and their interrelationship. These questions concern both the explanandum (the phenomenon to be explained, in this case, cognitive aging) and the explanans (the explanations—the causal forces that must be taken into account in understanding cognitive aging). A sociological perspective contends that the explanans of cognitive age-related outcomes cannot be understood without a systematic consideration of both social structure and human ...

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