Challenges of the Third Age: Meaning and Purpose in Later Life

Paperback | November 15, 2001

EditorRobert S. Weiss, Scott A. Bass

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The newly retired are entering a time of life that is virtually uncharted, a time in which they are free from social expectations and, to a large extent, from obligations to others. Life's meanings are no longer provided by work and family. Instead, men and women have the freedom, and theneed, to find new activities that they can imbue with meaning. The term, "Third Age" has been given to this time of life during which for most there is relatively good health, financial stability, and reduced family obligations. The problems and possibilities of this "Third Age" serve as thematerial for this book. How do older people decide how to deploy their continued vitality, now that they are free from the demands of work and children? How do they find meaning in daily life? In this book, scholars from several disciplines consider the way in which meaning can be found in thisimportant stage of later life. They discuss sociological, psychological, and religious determinants of responses to the challenges of finding meaningful activity after retirement.

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The newly retired are entering a time of life that is virtually uncharted, a time in which they are free from social expectations and, to a large extent, from obligations to others. Life's meanings are no longer provided by work and family. Instead, men and women have the freedom, and theneed, to find new activities that they can imbue...

Robert S. Weiss is Senior Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Gerontology Institute, University of Massachusetts, Boston. Scott A. Bass is Dean of the Graduate School, Vice Provost for Research, and Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 5.31 × 7.99 × 0.51 inPublished:November 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195150252

ISBN - 13:9780195150254

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Table of Contents

ContributorsRobert S. Weiss and Scott A. Bass: Introduction1. Peter Marris: Holding onto Meaning through the Life Cycle2. Richard A. Settersten, Jr.: Social Sources of Meaning in Later Life3. Robert L. Rubinstein: The Third Age4. Richard A. Settersen, Jr.: Social Sources of Meaning in Later Life5. Graham D. Rowles and Hege Ravdal: Aging, Place, and Meaning in the Face of Changing Circumstances6. David Gutmann: Bringers of Allah: The Druse Elders7. Bertram J. Cohler and Andrew J. Hostetler: Aging, Intimate Relationships, and Life Story among Gay Men8. Robert Morris: Looking for Meaning in a Life's Experience9. Rose Dobrof: The Search for Meaning in Later Years: the Views of a Seventy-Four-Year Old Gerontological Social WorkerRobert S. Weiss and Scott A. Bass: Epilogue: Concluding Note on Meaning and the Possibility of Productive AgingIndex