© 2013

The Symbolism of Globalization, Development, and Aging

  • Steven L. Arxer
  • John W. Murphy

Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 7)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Steven L. Arxer, John W. Murphy
    Pages 1-12
  3. Tom Semm, Kyra Greene
    Pages 59-66
  4. Steven L. Arxer
    Pages 67-80
  5. John W. Murphy
    Pages 81-90
  6. Linda Liska Belgrave, Bisma Ali Sayed
    Pages 91-107
  7. Jung Min Choi, Venoosheh Khaksar
    Pages 109-117
  8. David L. Reznik
    Pages 119-133
  9. Eric Mark Kramer, Elaine Hsieh
    Pages 135-156
  10. Steven L. Arxer, John W. Murphy
    Pages 157-162
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 163-169

About this book


As globalization transforms our daily lives, it is also shaping our lives—and our identities—in the long term. For many older people, this includes becoming alienated from themselves and pessimistic about a future that expects them to decline and decay like products with a shelf-life.

The Symbolism of Globalization, Development, and Aging sets out a provocative case for more socially conscious approaches to aging. Rather than merely critiquing the emerging youth-oriented global culture, the book reveals and refutes the assumptions that fuel global market ideals and stereotype the experience of aging to a specific set of developments. Its contributors argue that the social imagery of globalization normalizes longstanding inequities, particularly between generations, and marginalizes those who don’t conform to its narrow confines. Running throughout these chapters is the strong assertion that reality is diverse, and that understanding the power of global forces will promote alternative contexts for more authentic aging. Thus the challenge is to professionals working with elders to look beyond the biomedical model that characterizes much of their fields. Featured topics include: 

  • Body image symbolism and global concepts of aging.
  • The life-course perspective: defeating its purpose?
  • The human body and the corporate template of identity.
  • Technology: the dark side of the new and now.
  • Globalization ethics and the domination of youthfulness.
  • Reconceptualizing aging: toward a post-market future.

The Symbolism of Globalization, Development, and Aging is a breakthrough volume across disciplines which will inspire a higher level of thinking, discussion, and improvement in policy and practice among gerontologists, sociologists, health and cross-cultural psychologists, and public health policymakers.


Aging and health Aging populations Dimensions of aging Globalization and aging Globalization and development Images of aging Ontology of globalization Social development Social imagery Symbolism of aging Symbolism of globalization Technology and aging Technology of health

Editors and affiliations

  • Steven L. Arxer
    • 1
  • John W. Murphy
    • 2
  1. 1., Department of SociologyUniversity of North TexasDallasUSA
  2. 2., Department of SociologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

About the editors

John W. Murphy is professor of sociology at the University of Miami. He received his doctoral degree in 1981 from Ohio State University. His research interests are sociological theory, social philosophy, and globalization. He has published books related to the community mental health movement, the computerization of social service agencies, and contemporary social theory.

Steven L. Arxer is assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Texas at Dallas. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Florida. He has published papers in the journals of Humanity & Society and Qualitative Sociology Review and has contributed to several edited volumes. His research interests are globalization, NGOs, and gender mainstreaming.

Bibliographic information