The Body in Time

Lawrence Cohen

in No Aging in India

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780520083967
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925328 | DOI:
The Body in Time

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This chapter presents and reflects upon the letters of the author's grandmother. It notes that the seeming universality of old age draws simultaneously on the hegemony of certain representations of the old and on the universals of the body. Around the world, for those who survive into old age, eventual debility and death are certainties. But the material effects of death are variable. Though the author's paternal grandmother never mentioned being old in her letters, old age was addressed obliquely throughout. The chapter also considers why many people don't care about Alzheimer's disease. In locating the problem solely in the old person's brain, Alzheimer's denies multiple frames of difference in the constitution of the senile body. At the same time, societies are confronted with new circulations of technology and new hierarchies of embodiment as their forms of marginalization within the world system shift.

Keywords: grandmother; Alzheimer's; old age; marginalization; modernity; senile

Chapter.  8436 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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