Transitions and Transformations

Life Course, Culture and Aging: Global Transformations

Book 1
Berghahn Books
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Rapid population aging, once associated with only a select group of modern industrialized nations, has now become a topic of increasing global concern. This volume reframes aging on a global scale by illustrating the multiple ways it is embedded within individual, social, and cultural life courses. It presents a broad range of ethnographic work, introducing a variety of conceptual and methodological approaches to studying life-course transitions in conjunction with broader sociocultural transformations. Through detailed accounts, in such diverse settings as nursing homes in Sri Lanka, a factory in Massachusetts, cemeteries in Japan and clinics in Mexico, the authors explore not simply our understandings of growing older, but the interweaving of individual maturity and intergenerational relationships, social and economic institutions, and intimate experiences of gender, identity, and the body.
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About the author

Caitrin Lynch is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Visiting Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at Brandeis University.

Jason Danely is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Rhode Island College and editor of the journal Anthropology and Aging Quarterly.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Berghahn Books
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Published on
Apr 1, 2013
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9780857457790
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / Physiology
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Social Science / Anthropology / General
Social Science / General
Social Science / Gerontology
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This content is DRM protected.
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When a government program brought garment factories to rural Sri Lanka, women workers found themselves caught between the pressures of a globalizing economy and societal expectations that villages are sanctuaries of tradition. These women learned quickly to resist the characterization of "Juki girls"—female garment workers already established in the urban sector—as vulgar and deracinated, instead asserting that they were "good girls" who could embody the nation's highest ideals of femininity. Caitrin Lynch shows how contemporary Sri Lankan women navigate a complex web of political, cultural, and socioeconomic forces. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research conducted inside export-oriented garment factories and a close examination of national policies intended to ease the way for globalization, Lynch details precisely how gender, nationalism, and globalization influence everyday life in Sri Lanka. This book includes autobiographical essays by garment workers about their efforts to attain the benefits of being seen as "good" while simultaneously expanding the definition of what sort of behavior constitutes appropriate conduct. These village garment workers struggled to reconcile the role thrust upon them as symbols of national progress with the negative public perception of factory workers. Lynch provides the context needed to appreciate the paradoxes that globalization creates while painting a sympathetic portrait of the individuals whose life stories appear in this book.
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