Aging in Cross-Cultural Perspective


Population aging, driven by increasing longevity and decreasing fertility, is a worldwide demographic transformation that is changing societies and social relationships at all levels, from family household interactions to national debates on policies and expenditures. This course, run in a seminar format, investigates global aging through the lenses of demography and cultural anthropology. The objectives are for students to gain an empirical understanding of current population trends and an appreciation for how the aging process differs cross-culturally. The first part of the course introduces basic concepts and theories from social gerontology, demography, and anthropology that focus on aging and provide a toolkit for investigating the phenomenon from interdisciplinary perspectives. The second part introduces students to data sets and analysis techniques that are key to documenting population aging at local, national, and global levels. The third part is devoted to reading and discussing ethnographies of aging from China, India, and elsewhere. Course assessment is based on data analysis exercises and written assignments.
Course Attributes: AS HUM; AS LCD; AS SC; FA HUM; AR HUM; AS SSC; EN S

Section 01

Aging in Cross-Cultural Perspective
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