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In defiance of an ageing culture

    • Published online: 01 January 1999

Margaret Morganroth Gullette, Declining to Decline: Cultural Combat and the Politics of the Midlife. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia 1997, 276pp, $29.95 cloth ISBN 0-8139-1721-2.

Margaret Morganroth Gullette is one of America's foremost critics of the concept of ageing as a universal and comprehensive process of decline which begins in the middle years. She is a formidable critic of biological essentialism, defender of social constructionism, and opponent of ‘middle ageism’. Her most recent book, published in 1997 and not yet available in the UK, has been widely acclaimed in the USA. This review article describes Gullette's analysis of the social construction of decline in the context of her previous writings on midlife and outlines her strategy for combatting the decline model of ageing into old age.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Mike Hepworth, Department of Sociology, University of Aberdeen, Edward Wright Building, Dunbar Street, Old Aberdeen, AB9 1FX.
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Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
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