"I Knew What to Expect..." Reflections on Knowledge of Aging Versus Personal Experiences of Female Gerontologists

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Numerous articles and conference presentations have shown how aging adults construct the concept of personal aging through differences in self-perceptions and subjective age identification. However, a paucity of information is available on personal aging experiences from a biographical aging perspective, particularly with professionals and academics in the field of gerontology. As academics, we teach aging as a female through textbook experiences of aging females’ possible life experiences such as being a member of the sandwich generation, role changes, intergenerational relationships, caregiving, biological changes, psychological changes, and often present the information from a detached reality rarely incorporating our own personal struggles or experiences, in order to maintain a professional demeanor. As professionals, we are to present ourselves as successful models of aging or at the very least present ourselves within culturally normative standards of aging. This presentation discusses how a group of female gerontologists reflected upon by what means their profession informed their personal aging, emphasizing how the gendered-lens continues to play a role in women’s aging processes.


Southern Gerontological Society Annual Meeting (SGS)


Williamsburg, VA