Online from: 1981
Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management
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|Title:||Maggie Kuhn: social theorist of radical gerontology|
|Author(s):||Carroll Estes, (Institute for Health and Aging, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA), Elena Portacolone, (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA)|
|Citation:||Carroll Estes, Elena Portacolone, (2009) "Maggie Kuhn: social theorist of radical gerontology", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 29 Iss: 1/2, pp.15 - 26|
|Keywords:||Social policy, United States of America, Women|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/01443330910934682 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this article is to explore Maggie Kuhn's theoretical and analytical contributions to social gerontology and more broadly to the advancement of critical and public sociology.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper is an theoretical exploration of ageing. Maggie Kuhn's and the Gray Panthers theoretical contributions include analyses of, and related to: identity politics, intersectionality, cultural and media studies and the cognitive sciences, the forces and factors in the developing political economy of ageing including critiques of the ageing enterprise and the medical industrial complex, the sociology of knowledge of gerontology and globalization and world imperialism. The concluding section argues that the post-retirement career of Maggie Kuhn was one of a Public Sociologist.
Findings – Maggie Kuhn fulfils the promise of the Project of Public Sociology, which “is to make visible the invisible, to make the private public, to validate these organic connections as part of our sociological life”. Maggie Kuhn's example moved forward the work of multiple generations of scholars. She lived and produced critical social analyses in pursuit of emancipatory knowledges. Her work is one of the earliest forms, if not the first, of critical pedagogy in gerontology; she promoted and advanced discourses of resistance. Maggie Kuhn was an engaged and outraged, practicing organic intellectual – the epitome of what bell hooks means by “teaching to transgress” and “education as the practice of freedom”. In the 24 years after her involuntary retirement, this was Maggie Kuhn's full-time transformational agenda.
Originality/value – The paper looks at how the biography of Maggie Kuhn helped to engender the rise of radical social gerontology.
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