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Title: No Aging in India: The Uses of Gerontology
Authors: Cohen, Lawrence
Date: 1992
Source: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 16(2): 123-161
Abstract: This paper develops a critique of international gerontology through an ethnography and analysis of gerontological practice in India. The central theme of Indian gerontology that of an imminent demographic and social explosion of an aging population who will tax the country's slender resources misrepresents available data and fails to signify the experience of most Indian old people. Narrative and deconstructive techniques are deployed to examine the language of crisis and the complex sources of this misrepresentation. Three sources are explored: local disjunctions of class and gender in India, neocolonial biases in the structure of knowledge on aging central to international discourse, and subaltern strategies within India for subverting Western and elite Indian imperatives of what it means to be old. A variety of textual, ethnographic, and historical materials are examined: Indian and American literature pertaining to the 1982 World Assembly on Aging, a series of sociological texts each entitled ldquoAging in India,rdquo and four contemporary Indian institutions designed to meet the needs of old people: a social service agency, a geriatric clinic, a retirement community, and an old age home.
Format: article
Online: View Article
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