Research on Adulthood and Aging

The Human Science Approach

Edited by L. Eugene Thomas

Subjects: Gerontology/aging Studies
Series: SUNY series in Aging
Paperback : 9780791400692, 249 pages, July 1989
Hardcover : 9780791400685, 249 pages, July 1989

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Table of contents


James E. Birren


Chapter 1    The Human Science Approach to Understanding Adulthood and Aging

L. Eugene Thomas


Chapter 2    May Sarton's Journals: Attachment and Separateness in Later Life

Harry J. Berman

Chapter 3    Biblical Hermeneutics and the Aging Experience

J. Gordon Harris

Chapter 4    From Quantitative to Qualitative Reasoning: A Developmental Perspective

Allan B. Chinen


Chapter 5    Talking about Menopause: A Dialogic Analysis

Mary Gergen

Chapter 6    The Domestic Meaning of Institutionalization

Jaber F. Gubrium


Chapter 7    Temporality and Affect: The Personal Meaning of Well-Being

Robert L. Rubinstein

Chapter 8    Qualitative Research with Older Creative Adults

Karol Sylcox Ferguson

Chapter 9    Memory, Identity, History and the Understanding of Dementia

Karl E. Scheibe


Chapter 10   More than Counting Years: Social Aspects of Time and the Identity of Elders

Susan A. Eisenhandler

Chapter 11   'Successful Aging' Among Elderly Men in England and India: A Phenomenological Comparison

L. Eugene Thomas and Kim O. Chambers

Chapter 12   Social Relationships Among the Rural Elderly: A Multimethod Approach

Linda A. Wood


Chapter 13   Gerontology with a Human Face

Harry R. Moody




By borrowing from a wide range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, psychiatry, and the humanities, this book gives a more "human," personal voice to the many experiences of aging. The result is a new sort of social science research, one which often reads more like literature than social science. Indeed, the author uses a wide variety of techniques borrowed from the humanities, from hermeneutics to oral histories, in addition to the more traditional social science methods.


"The topic is significant since it represents a bridge between the social sciences studying aging and the humanities seeking a role. It answers the question, 'How can the humanists and the social scientists work together to further understanding of adult development and aging?'" — James E. Birren, Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California

"It addresses an important and promising new development in the field of aging, i. e., the application of human science methods to the study of aging and adult development. The topic is certainly significant. It is important because it is the first human science 'methods' book in the field of aging, which should soon make it central to the field. " — Edmund Sherman, Ringel Institute of Gerontology, State University of New York, Albany