You are here

Understanding Communication and Aging
Share

Understanding Communication and Aging
Developing Knowledge and Awareness



© 2007 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"This interesting, easy-to-read book provides a comprehensive framework for considering communication and aging in the context of biology, sociology, and psychology. This thought provoking book is strongly anti-ageist. It could serve as a broad overview for anyone interested in the myriad of issues related to communication and aging." —CHOICE

"Understanding Communication and Aging achieves a nice balance between the facts of growing old, the social forces that shape that process, and the communication factors that connect these two domains. With attention to both research and everyday applications, the text is thorough and inviting. I am delighted that a user-friendly, undergraduate text has finally been produced in the field of communication and aging. This book deserves to be an instant and sustained success."
—Sandra Metts, Illinois State University

"This book has so many strengths. I am especially pleased with the communication focus and the discussions on cultural issues, new technologies, and identities. I am impressed by Dr. Harwood's creativity and reaching out to learners via the use of info boxes, significant achievement profiles, literary/artistic descriptions, selected detailed summaries of research, and quotations about aging. All of these features auger very well for student learning and enthusiasm. I commend Dr. Harwood for his attention to detail, targeting multiple learning styles, and attending to instructors who value these kinds of features."
—Jim L. Query, Jr., University of Houston

"The way Professor Harwood ties together theory, research, and everyday experience into a text that is accessible, interesting, and fun to read is impressive. The focus is not merely psychological or interpersonal; the book spans multiple disciplines. This text is the total package!"
—Jo Anna Grant, California State University, San Bernardino

Understanding Communication and Aging is the most accessible introduction to the many ways aging in the 21st century is influenced by human communication processes, from face-to-face conversation to mass media representations. With a lively presentation, author Jake Harwood presents central research findings while engaging students with important questions concerning communication and aging.

Key Features

  • Covers the broad area of communication and older adulthood: The book examines key topics such as interpersonal and family relationships in old age, media portrayals of aging, cultural variations in intergenerational communication, and health communication in old age.
  • Shatters the myths and stereotypes of aging: The book's orientation and perspective is on "healthy" living and aging. This anti-ageist approach encourages readers to reexamine their views on aging and become fluent at defending and promoting an anti-ageist ideology.
  • Provides concrete examples: While taking a theoretical approach, the book includes coverage of applied issues such as health communication and age-related prejudice and discrimination.
 
Part I. Introduction to the Study of Aging and Intergenerational Communication
 
1. Perspectives on Aging
Why Study Aging?  
Approaches to Aging  
Methods for Studying Aging  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
2. A Communication Approach to Aging
Decline in Communication  
Counterpoint: A Positive Research Agenda on Aging  
Approaches to Communication and Aging  
Key Propositions Guiding the Book: A Communication Approach  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
Part II. Attitudes About Aging and Interpersonal Communication
 
3. Stereotypes and Attitudes About Aging and Intergenerational Communication
Distinguishing Stereotypes and Attitudes  
Attitudes Concerning Aging  
Stereotypes of Aging  
Age Identity-Talkin' 'Bout My Generation  
Cognitive Representations of Intergenerational Communication  
Why Do Negative Attitudes and Stereotypes Matter?  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
4. Aging, Identity, Attitudes, and Intergenerational Communication
Communication Accommodation Theory  
The Communication Predicament of Aging (CPA) Model  
The Age Stereotypes in Interaction Model  
Supporting Dependency  
Other Dimensions of Accommodation  
Age Identity: Disclosing and Concealing Age in Communication  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
5. Intragenerational Relationships in Older Adulthood
Marital Relationships in Old Age  
Intragenerational Friendships in Old Age  
Sibling Relationships  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
6. Intergenerational Relationships in Older Adulthood
Grandparenting  
The Parent-Child Relationship in Older Adulthood  
Intergenerational Friendships  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
7. Enhancing Communication with Older Adults
Change in Young People: The Influence of Intergenerational Contact on Attitudes  
Ending the Predicament: The Communication Enhancement Model  
Change in Older Adults: Confronting Patronizing Talk  
Communication Skills and Communication Training  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
Part III. Social Representations and Mass Communication
 
8. Mass Communication Portrayals of Older Adults
Underrepresentation  
Negative Representation  
Positive Portrayals  
The Media Industry  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
9. Uses and Effects of Media
Age Differences in Media Use  
Uses and Gratifications Theory  
Media Effects  
Older People as "Embracers" of Television?  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
10. Culture, Communication, and Aging
East Asia  
South Asia (India)  
United States Latino Cultures  
Native American Cultures  
Globalization and Transcultural Themes  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
Part IV. Contexts of Communication in Older Adulthood
 
11. Health and Health Care
Physician-Older Patient Interaction  
Support Groups for Caregivers  
Elder Abuse  
Additional Topics  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
12. Technology
Stereotypes of Older Adults-Technological Competence  
The Reality of Older Adults-Computer Use  
What Do Older People Do on the Internet?  
Technology and the Workplace  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
Part V. Conclusion
 
13. Conclusion
A Model of Aging in Individual and Societal Context  
What Can You Do Now?  
Summary  
Keywords and Theories  
Discussion Questions  
Annotated Bibliography  

"This interesting, easy-to-read book provides a comprehensive framework for considering communication and aging in the context of biology, sociology, and psychology.  This thought provoking book is strongly anti-ageist.  It could serve as a broad overview for anyone interested in the myriad of issues related to communication and aging."  —SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

M. M. Slusser
DeSales University
Science & Technology

"At the center of the campaign is a guide for conversation-starters, complied with the assistance of Jake Harwood a University of Arizona professor of gerontology and author of "Understanding Communication and Aging" (2007, SAGE Publications).

—DES MOINES BUSINESS RECORD

DES MOINES BUSINESS RECORD
DES MOINES BUSINESS RECORD - 2/25/2008

"This interesting, easy-to-read book provides a comprehensive framework"
"Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students, professionals/practicioners, adn general readers."

M.M. Slusser
DeSales University
Choice

"This interesting, easy-to-read book provides a comprehensive framework for considering communication and aging in the contexts of biology, sociology, and psychology...This thought provoking book is strongly anti-ageist.  It could serve as a broad overview for anyone interested in the myriad of issues related to communication and aging.

M.M. Slusser
DeSales University
CHOICE

Great for supporting anti-ageist views. Approaches prejudice and discrimination well, and aims to enlighten learners on the importance of effective communication. Easy to read for learners of all abilities.

Miss Julie Anderson
Health , Tyne Metropolitan College
July 4, 2016
Key features
  • Covers the broad area of communication and older adulthood, with a focus on the interpersonal, intercultural, and mass communication areas.
  • Shatters the myths and stereotypes of aging—as opposed to focusing on decline, ill health, dementia, etc., the book's orientation and perspective is on "healthy" living and aging.
  • While taking a theoretical approach, the study of communication and aging is inherently an "applied" area and that is reflected in this text with the use of concrete examples, and the coverage of applied issues such as health communication as well as age-related prejudice and discrimination.
  • Includes a number of features designed to involve the reader and make the content interesting; some combination of the following are scattered throughout to break up the text:
    • Informative "boxes" concerning myths of aging and keys to successful aging
    • Profiles of significant achievement and creativity in older adulthood (Thomas Mann, Miles Davis, Henri Matisse, Ronald Reagan, etc.)
    • Literary/artistic descriptions of aging and intergenerational communication as well as other first hand accounts of aging
    • Detailed summaries of empirical studies (separate from text—to provide understanding of methodological specifics, while not interrupting the flow of the review).
    • Quotations about aging (at the beginning of each chapter).
  • Each chapter ends with: a summary; an annotated bibliography/reading list for an advanced seminar (5 key articles); key words and theories; and a set of discussion questions.

For instructors

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412926096

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.