Five-page paper comparing Haber and Gratton with Cole is due. Think in terms of argument, sources, and methods.

Essay (5 pages) on two works on American aging is due on March 3 (10%). You will have the opportunity to rewrite this paper (as long as the original draft is submitted on the due date). Revisions will be due one week after I bring graded first drafts to class. Grades on the two drafts will be averaged

The Journey of Life is both a cultural history of aging and a contribution to public dialogue about the meaning and significance of later life. The core of the book shows how central texts and images of Northern middle-class culture, first in Europe and then in America, created and sustained specifically modern images of the life course between the Reformation and World War I. During this long period, secular, scientific and individualist tendencies steadily eroded ancient and medieval understandings of aging as a mysterious part of the eternal order of things.

In the last quarter of the twentieth century, however, postmodern images of life\'s journey offer a renewed awareness of the spiritual dimensions of later life and new opportunities for growth in an aging society.

1 Aging in the Western tradition: cultural origins of the modern life course
2 The aging pilgrim\'s progress in the New World
3 \'Death without order\': the late Calvinist ideal of aging
Part II The Dualism of Aging in Victorian America
4 Antebellum revivals and Victorian morals: the ideological origins of ageism
5 Popular health reform and the legitimation of longevity, 1830-1870
6 Aging, popular art, and Romantic religion in mid-Victorian culture
7 In a different voice: self-help and the ideal of \'civilized\' old age, 1850-1910
Part III Science and the Ideal of Normal Aging
8 The aging of \'civilized\' morality: the fixed period versus prolongevity, 1870-1925
9 Toward the scientific management of aging: the formative literature of gerontology and geriatrics, 1890-1930
10 The prophecy of Senescence: G. Stanley Hall and the reconstruction of old age
Epilogue: beyond dualism and control - reflections on aging in postmodern culture

In humanistic fashion, Cole attempts to explore the "historical shoreline of later life, charting its cultural forms and sounding their depths," ultimately arriving at reflections on aging in "postmodern culture." Cole uses this history to probe deeply into the depictions of aging and the aged, their "meaning," and the perceptions they suggest. He is at his best when analyzing the cultural biases of a science that emerged to explain and manage old age. Although he calls upon a wide array of sources to present stimulating and insightful interpretations, Cole focuses on the Western tradition; room still remains for cross-cultural questions from anthropologists and folklorists.

Cole, an associate professor at the University of Texas, here explores the evolution of societal attitudes toward aging, gender and familial ideals from antiquity to the present, discussing both political and philosophical influences. He devotes a major portion of this excellent and accessible scholarly study to examining a wide variety of religious beliefs, many of which envision life as a spiritual pilgrimage. However, with the rise of secular individualism, today\'s ``scientific management\'\' of aging has prolonged the life span, Cole observes, and liberated older men and women of many burdens and duties. On the other hand, he contends, the elderly have been deprived of their traditional cultural roles, special functions and positions in society. Furthermore, he notes, with a youth-oriented culture that tends to consider aging a chronic disease, the spiritual aspects of growing old and of death as natural parts of the life cycle have been slighted. Illustrations. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

This work challenges the assumption of value-free studies of aging and offers a critical evaluation of the meanings of aging in American society. Deftly interweaving religion, economics, gender, health trends, and science, Cole documents the period from the Reformation to post-World War I. Tracing the decline of religious values, the rise of the economic pressures of individualism, and the reliance on scientific management of health, he offers new insights into patterns of behavior.

Ian J. Wharton
HIST 4003- Aging In World History
March 3rd 2016
Paper #1

In The Journey of Life by Thomas R. Cole, Cole looks at the changing outlook on aging over the course of history, but never askes questions on it. An argument he makes however is that we need to bring logic to what we believe in and come