The Double Voice of the Third Age

Splitting the Speaking Self as an Adaptive Strategy in Later Life
  • Haim Hazan
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


“Have you ever spotted a self down the corridor?” sniggered an eminent anthropologist, while exhorting against the reification of a concept replacing an ethnographic substance. Still, the discourse of selfhood is not only an analytic device, but also mainly a reflection of a certain social gaze under which cultural engendered practices are expressed. Scanning social action, this gaze recognizes and identifies the presence of selves according to their culturally audible utterances. This intriguing mixed metaphor conflating the spectral and the audible renders the self a vocal function confirmed by visual means. Attempts at disentangling the two by introducing a self-sustaining audible constant into the management of the discourse of the self are increasingly prevalent. Thus, underprivileged groups, for example, often phrase their claim to power as the right to have their own voice. Confining terms of selfhood to its spoken representations suggests the possibility of a polyphonic self composed of a multiplicity of voices.


Life Satisfaction Neutral Speech Industrial Relation Research Association Funeral Director Vocal Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, B. (1972). The process of deculturation: Its dynamics among United States aged. Anthropological Quarterly, 45, 209–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Astington, J. (1991). Narrative and the child’s theory of mind. In B. Britton & A. Pellegrini (Eds.), Narrative thought and narrative language. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  3. Bauman, Z. (1992). Mortality and immortality and other life strategies. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  4. Berger, P., Berger, B., & Kellner, H. (1973). The homeless mind. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  5. Bernardi, B. (1985). Age class systems: Social institutions and politics based on age. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blythe, R. (1979). The view in winter. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch.Google Scholar
  7. Burgess, E. (1950) Personal and social adjustment in old age. In M. Derber (Ed.), The aged and society (pp. 138-156). Champaign, IL: Industrial Relations Research Association.Google Scholar
  8. Carrithers, M., Collins, S., Lukes, S. (Eds.). (1985). The category of the person. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Clark, M., & Anderson, B. G. (1967). Culture and aging. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, A. (1974). Two dimensional man. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  11. Cohen-Shalev, A. (1992). Self and style: The development of artistic expression from youth through midlife to old age in the works of Henrik Ibsen. Journal of Aging Studies, 6(3), 289–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cool, L., & McCabe, J. (1983). The scheming hag and the “dear old thing”: The anthropology of aging women. In J. Sokolovsky (Ed.), Growing old in different societies (pp. 56–71). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  13. Coupland, J., & Coupland, N. (1991). Formulating age: Dimensions of age identity in elderly talk. Discourse Processes, 14, 87–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Crapanzano, V. (1980). Tuhami: Portrait of a Moroccan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Davidson, D. (1979). On metaphor. In S. Sachs (Ed.), On metaphor (pp. 98–116). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Cumming, E., & Henry, W. (1961). Growing old: The process of disengagement. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  17. Douglas, M. (1995). The Cloud God and the Shadow Self. Social Anthropology, 3, 83–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. de Beauvoir, S. (1975). The coming of age. New York: Warner Communications.Google Scholar
  19. Eckert, J. K. (1980). The unseen elderly. San Diego: Campanile Press.Google Scholar
  20. Erikson, E. (1959). Identity and the life cycle. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  21. Erikson, E. (1982). The life cycle completed. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  22. Ewing, K. P. (1990). The illusion of wholeness: Culture, self and the experience of inconsistency. Ethos, 18, 251–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Featherstone, M., & Hepworth, M. (1990). Images of aging. In J. Bond & P. G. Coleman (Eds.), Aging in society: An introduction to social gerontology. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  24. Featherstone, M., & Hepworth, M. (1991). The mask of aging and the post-modern life course. In M. Featherstone, M. Hepworth, & B. Turner (Eds.), The body: Social process and cultural theory (pp. 370–389). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  25. Fontana, A. (1976). The last frontier. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Foucault, M. (1979). What is an author? (Kari Hanet, Trans.). Screen 20(1), 13–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Foucault, M. (1980). Power knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings. Brighton, UK: Harvester Press.Google Scholar
  28. Gergen, K. J. (1991). The saturated self. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  29. Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  30. Greer, G. (1991). The change: Women, aging, and menopause. London: Hamish Hamilton.Google Scholar
  31. Gubrium, J. (1994). Speaking of lives. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  32. Gubrium, J. F., & Lynott, R. S. (1983). Rethinking life satisfaction. Human Organization, 42, 30–38.Google Scholar
  33. Hazan, H. (1994). Old Age: Construction and deconstructions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hepworth, M., & Featherstone, M. (1982). Surviving middle age. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  35. Hockey, J., & James, A. (1993). Growing up and growing old: Ageing and dependency in the life course. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  36. Katriel, I. (1991). Sodot: Secret sharing as a social form among Israeli children. In I. Katriel (Ed.), Communal webs (pp. 183–197). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  37. Kaufman, S. R. (1981). Cultural components of identity in old age. Ethos, 9(1), 51–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kaufman, S. R. (1986). The ageless self: Sources of meaning in late life. Madison: University of Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  39. Kemper, S. (1988). Geriatric psycholinguistics: Syntactic limitations of oral and written language. In L. Light & D. Burke (Eds.). Language, memory and aging (pp. 58–76). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kertzer, D., & Keith, J. (Eds). (1984). Age and anthropological theory. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Koch, K. (1977). I never told anybody: Teaching poetry writing in a nursing home. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  42. Langness, L. L., & Frank, G. (1981). Lives: An anthropological approach to biography. Novato, CA: Chandler & Sharp.Google Scholar
  43. Leach, E. (1976). Culture and communication. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Levinson, D., Darrow, C., Klein, E., Levinson, M., & McKee, B. (1978). The seasons of man’s life. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  45. Lifton, R. (1986). The Nazi doctors. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  46. Marshall, V. W. (1979). No exit: A symbolic interactionist perspective on aging. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 9, 345–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mergler, N., & Goldstein, M. (1983). Why are there old people? Senescence as biological and cultural preparedness for the transmission of information. Human Information, 26, 72–90.Google Scholar
  48. Mergler, N., & Schleifer, R. (1985). The plain sense of things: Violence and the discourse of the aged. Semiotica, 54(1/2), 177–199.Google Scholar
  49. Meyerowitz, J. (1984). The adult child and the childlike adult. Daedalus, 113(3), 19–48.Google Scholar
  50. Myerhoff, B. (1978). Number our days. New York: Dutton.Google Scholar
  51. Myerhoff, B. (1982). Life history among the elderly: Performance visibility and re-membering. In J. Ruby (Ed.), A crack in the mirror: Reflexive perspectives in anthropology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  52. Myerhoff, B., & Simic, A. (Eds.). (1978). Life’s career—aging: Cultural variations on growing old. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  53. Neugarten, B. L. (1976). The future and the young old, Gerontologist, 15, 4–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rose, N. (1990). Governing the soul: The shaping of the private self. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  55. Searle, J. (Ed.). (1979). Expressions and meaning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Strathern, M. (1987). Out of context: The persuasive fictions of anthropology. Current Anthropology, 28, 251–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Trevarthen, C., & Logotheri, K. (1989). Child in society, and society in children: The nature of basic trust. In S. Howell & R. Willis (Eds.), Societies at peace: Anthropological perspectives. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  58. Turner, B. S. (1987). Aging, dying and death. In B. S. Turner (Ed.), Medical power and social knowledge (pp. 11–31). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  59. Unruh, D. (1983). Invisible life: The social worlds of the aged. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  60. Winner, E. (1990). The point of words: Children’s understanding of metaphor and irony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Woodward, K. (1980). At last, the real distinguished thing: The late poetry of Eliot, Pound, Stevens and Williams. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Woodward, K. (1991). Aging and its discontents. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Zola, I. K. (1982). Missing pieces. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haim Hazan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Herczeg Institute on AgingTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations