Figuring Age

Figuring Age

Women, Bodies, Generations
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/22/1999
Format: Paperback 31 b&w photos, 6 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-21236-8
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Figuring Age engages the virtually invisible subject of older women in western culture. Like other markers of social difference, age is given meaning by a culture. Yet unlike gender and race, the subjects of age and aging have received little sustained attention. Central to Figuring Age is the crucial question of how women are aged by culture. How are older women represented in a visual culture that is dominated by images of youth in television, film, and life performance? How do psychoanalysis, rejuvenation therapy and hormone replacement therapy, the fashion system, cosmetic surgery, and midlife bodybuilding shape our views of aging as well as of the older body itself? What is the "timing" of aging? To what extent is aging a culturally-induced trauma?

Author Bio

Kathleen Woodward is Director of the Center for Twentieth Century Studies and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. She is the author of Aging and Its Discontents: Freud and Other Fictions and At Last, the Real Distinguished Thing: The Late Poems of Eliot, Pound, Stevens, and Williams. She is also the editor of Memory and Desire: Aging—Literature—Psychoanalysis (with Murray Schwartz) and The Myths of Information: Technology and Postindustrial Culture.

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