From the Inside Looking Out

Competing Ideas about Growing Old

By Jeanette A. Auger and Diane Tedford-Litle  

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Written from the perspective of older persons, this book puts forth the notion that these voices are as important and as necessary as those of a gerontologist’s when documenting the aging experience. There are a number of contradictions between the “realities” of aging produced by professionals and the subjective experiences of older persons as they live their everyday lives. The authors began with collecting literature about aging and for aging populations. They then conducted a series of focus groups and used questionnaires in an attempt to supplement the published information. Personal stories provide depth to the contrast between what it means to grow older and what is really experienced. These stories are generously dispersed throughout the text and come from a number of different perspectives, including Black and Mi’k Maq communities.

The authors seek to overcome the “us” and “them” dichotomy that characterizes much of the literature on aging. By asking older people to talk of their experiences and treat this information as holding value, the authors have presented a tool that can be used to begin such a process.

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  • Jeanette A. Auger

    Acadia University

    Jeanette A. Auger is a professor emeritus and adjunct professor in the Department of Sociology at Acadia University.

  • Diane Tedford-Litle

    Diane Tedford-Litle is a women’s activist and ex-palliative care volunteer with the Victorian Order of Nurses in Nova Scotia. She has volunteered with a number of organizations including the Seniors Network, the Hospice Consultation Committee and the Gerontology Association of Nova Scotia.

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