Aging and Social Justice

Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 2:58 pm

“Americans born in the 2000s live as much as thirty years longer than their ancestors,” says Karla Erickson, sociology.

Her young first-year students are already thinking about aging in her tutorial, Aging and Social Justice: A Time to be Born and a Time to Die. 

They are exploring global aging and learning about the longevity dividend, trying to answer questions such as:

  • What do these extra thirty years mean for how we age and die?
  • How will the “elder boom” change our society?
  • Should we treat the end of life more like the beginning of life in terms of the social supports that accompany the birth of a new person?
  • What are the cultural, financial, and policy implications of living in a society where old age is more common than youth?

“Because aging is a holistic phenomenon, we will be venturing into many disciplines and sources of evidence,” says Erickson. “We will explore these questions through sociology, gender studies, American studies, fiction, film, poetry, and essays.”