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Anthropology of Aging

This course will examine the importance of taking ethnic and cultural diversity into account in thinking about and trying to understand the nature of aging and, ultimately, in providing services to elders from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Welcome

This course will examine the importance of taking ethnic and cultural diversity into account in thinking about and trying to understand the nature of aging and, ultimately, in providing services to elders from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It will also examine why and how living, aging, receiving the help of others and dying on the level of the individual is tremendously influenced by the broader communities and societies in which these fundamental human phenomena take place. As a result of completing this course, all students will:

  1. Understand the contemporary phenomenon of global aging as a recent and major   development in human demography and in the life cycle of individuals and groups across cultures.

2)   Be able to explain cross-cultural, cross-ethnic, anthropological ways of viewing, studying and understanding human aging.

  1. Develop a comparative view that increases awareness of the influence of culture and social structure, including ethnic minority status, on human beliefs, values and behaviors and on the context within which aging occurs and the challenge of caring for and supporting elders is met.

4)   Understand how relevant knowledge of culture and social structure can be applied to service design and practice with diverse elders and their families, especially in doing functional and needs assessments, communicating across cultural/ethnic lines and developing culturally responsive attitudes towards ethnically diverse elders and their families that are open, non-judgmental and empathetic.

5)   Develop awareness of the ways in which their own sociocultural backgrounds, values, beliefs and behaviors can be helpful in, or interfere with, their interactions with diverse elders and their families and communities.

 

6)   Be able to explain how anthropological knowledge can be used: (a) to identify and assess the existing strengths of cultural/ethnic communities in ways that can facilitate the acceptance of services by culturally diverse elders and their families and communities; and (b) to identify and assess cultural and socio-structural barriers to the utilization of such services.

Kellian Clink is your librarian. Memorial Library 3071 is her office, 507 389 5152 her phone number, and kellian.clink@mnsu.edu email. 

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