Dancing for Their Lives: The Pursuit of Meaningful Aging in Urban China (Global Perspectives on Aging) (Hardcover)

Dancing for Their Lives: The Pursuit of Meaningful Aging in Urban China (Global Perspectives on Aging) By Claudia Huang Cover Image

Dancing for Their Lives: The Pursuit of Meaningful Aging in Urban China (Global Perspectives on Aging) (Hardcover)

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Dancing for their Lives explores the vibrant world of retired Chinese women known as "dancing grannies” who seek fulfillment and companionship amidst societal upheaval. These women, part of China’s “lost generation,” gather in parks and public squares to reclaim their lives through dance in the wake of Chinese economic and cultural transformations. The book challenges prevailing narratives of aging societies, portraying old age as a site of social innovation rather than decline. Based ethnographic research conducted in Chengdu, China, Dancing for their Lives reveals how retirees learn to navigate shifting social norms and values while actively creating new models for growing older. The book’s insights resonate beyond Chinese society, offering lessons on resilience and the pursuit of meaning in any aging population. Dancing for their Lives underscores the human capacity to craft purposeful lives amid uncertainty, transcending geographical boundaries to illuminate the universal quest for fulfillment in later years.
CLAUDIA HUANG is an assistant professor of human development at California State University, Long Beach. 
Product Details ISBN: 9781978838888
ISBN-10: 1978838883
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: February 11th, 2025
Pages: 180
Language: English
Series: Global Perspectives on Aging
"Dancing for their Lives is a vivid and enchantingly resonant ethnography of how older women in Western China create purposeful aging through collective performance and engagement. A fascinating story of social and cultural production in today’s China. A real achievement, not just for China studies but for global aging as well!"
— Arthur Kleinman