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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Students  Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE PROMOTION OF OLDER ADULT VOLUNTEERISM
Author: MARTY MARTINSON (San Francisco State University)   
Date/Time: Wed., 12:15 PM
Co-Author(s): MARTY MARTINSON (San Francisco State University) 
Abstract: Over the past decade in the U.S., a growing effort has been put into the promotion of older adult civic engagement and its alleged contributions to healthy aging and healthy communities. Empirical research, practice, and policies have operationalized civic engagement quite narrowly – primarily as formal volunteerism. This study uses a critical gerontology framework, emphasizing both political economy analysis and perspectives from the humanities, to explore the historical and political contexts of the current promotion of older adults civic engagement, the potential impacts of such promotion on social constructions of healthy aging, and the ethical implications of the civic engagement discourse particularly as it influences elders’ identities and subjective meanings of aging. This critical analysis reveals the emergence of the promotion of older adult volunteerism within the context of retrenchment politics and as an extension of positive aging paradigms that value productivity and able-bodied aging. The result is the exploitation of elders to fill gaps in services left underfunded by neo-liberal economics and the reinforcement of normative ideals that serve to stigmatize elders who fail to live up to productive ideals for aging.

Program Number: 1-0020
Session Title: VOLUNTEERISM IN CRISIS: RIGHTS, RITUAL AND REASON
Session Sponsor: National Association for the Practice of Anthropology
Session Date/Time: Wed., 12:00 PM-1:45 PM
Organizer(s): KENNETH MAES (Brown University) 
Chair(s): ALEXANDER RODLACH (Creighton University)  
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