Aging Nationally in Contemporary Poland: Memory, Kinship, and Personhood (Global Perspectives on Aging) (Paperback)

Aging Nationally in Contemporary Poland: Memory, Kinship, and Personhood (Global Perspectives on Aging) By Jessica C. Robbins Cover Image

Aging Nationally in Contemporary Poland: Memory, Kinship, and Personhood (Global Perspectives on Aging) (Paperback)

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Active aging programs that encourage older adults to practice health- promoting behaviors are proliferating worldwide. In Poland, the meanings and ideals of these programs have become caught up in the sociocultural and political-economic changes that have occurred during the lifetimes of the oldest generations—most visibly, the transition from socialism to capitalism. Yet practices of active aging resonate with older forms of activity in late life in ways that exceed these narratives of progress. Moreover, some older Poles come to live valued, meaningful lives in old age despite the threats to respect and dignity posed by illness and debility. Through intimate portrayals of a wide range of experiences of aging in Poland, Jessica C. Robbins shows that everyday practices of remembering and relatedness shape how older Poles come to be seen by themselves and by others as living worthy, valued lives.
 
JESSICA C. ROBBINS is an assistant professor at the Institute of Gerontology and Department of Anthropology at Wayne State University in Michigan.
Product Details ISBN: 9781978813960
ISBN-10: 1978813961
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: December 18th, 2020
Pages: 228
Language: English
Series: Global Perspectives on Aging
“In this nuanced and beautifully written account of aging in contemporary Poland, Jessica Robbins illuminates with sensitivity and care the interconnections of remembrance, relatedness, and moral personhood. Experiences and moral imaginaries are shown to be shaped through everyday practices of relatedness, and we learn how deeply embedded national myths are in personal memories and biographies. This book will be taken up across the social sciences by those concerned with processes of kinship, nationalism, old age, and memory.”
— Janet Carsten

“A must-read for rich insights into the creation of moral personhood through social relations among older Poles in caregiving spaces. An exploration of the connections between person and nation in historical and contemporary Poland, interweaving subjective, institutional, and infrastructural levels of care, attentive to both personal narratives and political-economic contexts. Robbins’s analysis has broader implications for studies of the life cycle, as well as age-related policies.”
 
— Susan Rasmussen

"Institute of Gerontology researcher publishes book on aging in Poland"
— Today@Wayne

"Skillfully conveys the difficult and complicated history of Poland over the last century as it relates to the memories of aging Poles. The rich and profound ethnographic interviews of Robbins with her participants enable the reader to envision the settings of the interviews vividly, and the strong connection with her subjects is obvious. Robbins’ theoretical engagement with modern aging research, particularly with ideas around active aging, memory, and moral personhood, offers new insight into these growing areas. Overall, this book is an outstanding example of multilayered scholarship in the field of anthropology of aging and gerontology."
— Anthropology and Aging

"This well-organized, engaging book will be of interest to anthropologists and gerontologists who studying aging and identity. People who specialize in Polish history will find that the stories related by elders illuminate their close identity with the nation. The book also explores the politics of memory and the cultural construction of belonging and deservedness in ways that transcend narrow subfields. I would recommend the volume as a classroom ethnography as well as a fine addition to a scholarly bookshelf."
— Medical Anthropology Quarterly

"This well-organized, engaging book will be of interest to anthropologists and gerontologists who studying aging and identity. People who specialize in Polish history will find that the stories related by elders illuminate their close identity with the nation. The book also explores the politics of memory and the cultural construction of belonging and deservedness in ways that transcend narrow subfields. I would recommend the volume as a classroom ethnography as well as a fine addition to a scholarly bookshelf."
— Michele Gamburd