Aging and Older Men: Thoughts, Reflections and Issues:
Robert Blundo and Deborah E. Bowen, Guest Editors
Meeting the Needs of Older Men:Challenges for Those in Helping Professions
Jordan I. Kosberg
The uniqueness of men’s lives has not been revealed in the social service
literature. Therefore policy makers and practitioners are without the necessary
knowledge base and research to create programs and services that will
engage men and, in particular, aging men. This article presents an overview
of the state of knowledge in general and the specific areas significant to
policy and practice development.
Shifting Identity: Process and Change in Identity of Aging Mexican-American Males
Gary L. Villereal and Alonzo Cavazos,Jr.
This article addresses the shift in machismo identity that occurs in
Mexican-American male identity and the developmental process and the
change in one’s role as an elderly Mexican-American man.
Socialization of male-ism in Mexican-American boys begins with the
cultural expectation that a young boy is and will be a man. There are also
explicit expectations that girls should be respected but that, in contrast
to boys, girls should be submissive and obedient. This is the beginning of
machismo and the separation of being a “man” versus being a “woman.”
Aging results in a loss of machismo and this is evident by the manner
in which elderly males interact with their spouse and adult children.
Towards the latter part of life, decision-making becomes a shared process
between spouses. Quite often, Mexican-American elderly males are seen
accompanying their spouse’s at flea markets, garage sales, grocery shopping
and even assisting with baby sitting grandchildren.
Grandfathers and The Impact of Raising Grandchildren
Objectives. As grandparents are continuing to take on the responsible of
raising their grandchildren in the absence of parents much attention in the
literature is given to women. Little is known about the adjustment that
older men make in these families. This study explored the experiences of
grandfathers raising grandchildren.
Methods. Data were gathered by semi-structured interviews in a rural
community in southeastern North Carolina and analyzed using a qualitative
content analysis mode. Twenty-six men, age 65+, who were responsible
for the care of at least one grandchild, participated.
Results. Eighty-one percent (N = 21) reported that their perception of
powerlessness occurred either in the role transition or in the activities of
daily parenting. Many expected to continue experiencing powerlessness
throughout the parenting of the child.
Discussion. Grandfathers experience powerlessness that has not been
reported in the literature on grandmothers raising grandchildren. Results
affirm the need for special attention to elderly men who take on the role of
parent for their grandchildren.
The Peculiarities of Men Aging: A Collection of Anecdotes
Robert Blundo and Tamara Estes
Men are reticent to share with others the slow realization that with age they
begin to confront a world that they had not expected. They had not expected
to grow old. Now that this is happening, men have few relationships that
permit them to share their thoughts and moments of recognition. The
anecdotes that men share are revealing in that they demonstrate basic
human uncertainties about the later part of life’s cycle.
Social Security and the African American Male (A Cash Transfer System)
All employed workers are required to contribute to the Social Security
System; however, a disproportionate percentage of African American males
never live long enough to collect any benefits from their contributions. On
the other hand, the life-expectancy of white males is significantly longer
than the life expectancy of African American males, and their collection of
Social Security benefits tends to exceed their contributions to the system.
The federal government keeps the Social Security system from becoming
completely solvent by raiding it of any surplus funds it collects; thereby,
preventing the Social Security Fund from developing interest income, and
accumulating funds for future generations of retirees.
Viagra: Medical Technology Constructing Aging Masculinity
Gregory Gross and Robert Blundo
Medicalization and commodification of the body through technology in
the form of Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs is reinforcing the
cultural expectations that ageing men are required to age well to maintain
youthful masculinity. Ageing well is explored as it relates the construction
of masculinity, sexuality and ageing men’s bodies.
Principles of Clinical Practice with Older Men
Lenard W. Kaye and Jennifer A. Crittenden
Older men are much less likely to be aware of community services available
to them and they are less likely to utilize services generally. This underutilization
is affected by the way in which social services are organized and
how practitioners function within them. Since there are greater numbers
of elderly women and women utilize services more readily, practice tends
to be female-centered. It is important that gender-sensitive intervention
processes are established that recognize the unique experiences and concerns
of older men in order to better serve them. The uniqueness of men’s
experiences with such issues as loss of a spouse, retirement, caregiving, and
victimization warrant particular attention by gerontological practitioners.
Male-friendly interventions that take into account traditional male values
will foster greater participation and better quality care for older men.
Honoring the Elders: Interviews with Two Lakota Men
Deborah E. Bowen The beliefs that honoring the elders, commitment to family, and the connectedness to all creation are paramount are intrinsic to Lakota culture.
Two Lakota elders, Albert White Hat, Sr. and Sylvan White Hat, Sr. are
interviewed for this article. They express their concerns with major social
justice issues, and offer hope for future generations of Lakota children. A
strengths-based perspective of social work practice is compared to traditional
Lakota customs and practices.
The Contemporary Older Man: Summary and Discussion
Roberta Greene and Michael Wright
Gender and the Social Gospel.
Wendy J. Deichman Edwards and Carolyn De Swarte Giffors (Eds.).
Reviewed by John Herrick.
The Changing of the Guard: Lesbian and Gay Elders, Identity and
Reviewed by John F. Longres.
Health Policy in a Globalising World.
Kelley Lee, Kent Buse and Suzanne Fustukian (Eds.).
Reviewed by Mizanur R. Miah.
Gangs and Society: Alternative Perspectives.
Louis Kontos, David Brotherton and Luis Barrios (Eds.).
Reviewed by Matthew T. Theriot.
At Work in the Iron Cage: The Prison as Gendered Organization.
Dana M. Britton.
Reviewed by Katherine vanWormer.
Being Homeless: Textual and Narrative Constructions.
Amir B. Marvasti.
Reviewed by John Q. Hodges.
A History of Public Sector Pensions in the United States.
Robert L. Clark, Lee A. Craig and Jack W. Wilson.
Adopting Maternity: White Women who Adopt Transracially and
Nora Rose Moosnick.
A Short History of Distributive Justice.
Reflecting on Social Work: Discipline and Profession.
Robin Lovelock, Karen Lyons and Jackie Powell (Eds.).
Globalization: Culture and Education in the New Millenium.
Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco and Desiree Baolian Qin-Hilliard (Eds.).
The Practicum Companion for Social Work: Integrating Class and
Marla Berg-Weger and Julie Birkenmaier.