Aging worlds in contradiction: gerontological observations in the Mediterranean region

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Hans-Joachim von Kondratowitz

Abstract

This article discusses the existing and developing aging regimes in the Northern and Southern rim countries of the whole Mediterranean region which are all undergoing considerable social and political transformation processes. It is argued that several eye-opening theoretical interventions for such a gerontological project may lead to some methodological problems and pitfalls, which have to be dealt with productively. Central collective concepts of such an analysis (as the change-oriented “modernization effects” of societal aging and the continuity-oriented gaze at the “unity of the region”) have to be reconsidered and ought to be more differentiated in order to allow smaller social entities (such as kinship and community systems and their connectivity) to be central orientations for analyzing poverty and care management in old age in the Mediterranean region. How to reconnect such a rather micro-political agenda with large processes and big structures of aging policies in the region however still remains an open question.

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