From The Inside Looking Out

Competing Ideas About Growing Old. Second Edition

By Jeanette A. Auger, Diane Tedford-Litle and Brenda Wallace-Allen  

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In From The Inside Looking Out, Auger, Tedford-Litle and Wallace-Allen seek to overcome the “us” and “them” dichotomy that characterizes much of the literature on aging. By asking older people to talk about their experiences and treating this information as valuable, the authors have presented a tool that can be used to begin such a process.

This second edition documents the lived experiences of older persons obtained from a series of focus group discussions and interviews across Nova Scotia. Individuals compare their realities of growing old with the often-theoretical assumptions of gerontologists and specialists who claim knowledge of the aging experience. In this field of study, there are few instances where the voices of older persons are heard, other than as consumers of various programs and services. Furthermore, the voices of Indigenous and African-Canadians are typically unheard. Topics covered include health care, life satisfaction, death and dying, end of life decisions, cultural differences in the aging process, spirituality and religion, ageism and discrimination, and the critique of the many stereotypes of growing older.

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  • Preface
  • Introduction: How We Conducted Our Survey
  • Scientific Constructions of Old Age
  • Theories of Aging and Their Practical Application
  • Old Age by Whose Definition?
  • The Social Realities of Aging
  • Where Do We Go from Here?
  • Select Bibliography
  • Index


  • 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.

  • Brenda Wallace-Allen

    Brenda Wallace-Allen is an instructor at Nova Scotia Community College.

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