Schweitzer looks at the literature of aging from a cross-cultural perspective updating the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology's previously published Topical Bibliography and its Supplement.
During the 1970s, Comparative Cultural Gerontology or the Anthropology of Aging, with its focus on aging from a cross-cultural perspective, attained the status of a new speciality in the field of anthropology. It was only in the late 1960s to the mid-70s that elderly people and the process of aging became recognized as a bona fide research topic for anthropology. Majorie M. Schweitzer's Anthropology of Aging looks at aging from this cross-cultural perspective and updates the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology's previously published Topical Bibliography and the Supplement to the Topical Bibliography on the Anthropology of Aging. Schweitzer focuses on citations that represent anthropological perspectives and/or cross-cultural data, with data from other disciplines included when warranted. Besides a greatly expanded number of bibliographical references, Schweitzer's work includes annotations for particularly important citations including those that address special issues, such as method and theory as they relate to aging, and those that provide the clearest treatment of a particular topic. The topical outline of the 1982 volume has been retained with only minor additions and changes making the Bibliography both easy to use and a rich resource for researchers.
Over 40 international scholars in the field of aging have updated the various sections of the original bibliography. Organized according to two kinds of topics: subject topics, such as Modernization; and regional/cultural group topics, such as Great Britain/American Indian, the reference contains 14 chapters that investigate research on the subject from Africa to the Pacific Rim, USSR, USA, Europe, Israel, and more. Beginning with a chapter that zeroes in on general, theoretical, and comparative works, the volume procedes with chapters that examine demography, biology, and longevity, medical aspects of aging, non-industrialized societies, national cultures, modernization, and ethnic/rural segments of the United States. The last six chapters examine social structure; community organization, and age-homogeneous residences; urban aged, social networks, support systems; women; death and dying; and methods. The final chapter contains a list of additional bibliographies. A must for most research libraries, this comprehensive bibliography will be widely used by teachers, students, researchers, social workers, service providers and administrators from many different disciplines.