People in Sociology - Faculty
David J. Ekerdt
Director, Gerontology Center
Spring 2013 Office Hours: 9:00-11:00 W
Phone: (785) 864-9428
Professor Ekerdt (PhD Boston) has concentrated his research and teaching on issues related to aging and the life course. The theme of his research is people’s agency in facing and managing the normative, socially structured transitions of the life course. His publications have addressed issues of social structure and aging, decision-making processes for later life, age and consumption, and techniques for the analysis of time-series data. His research specialties are (1) the transition from work to retirement, and (2) the management of possessions in later life. He is Editor-in-Chief of the four-volume Macmillan Encyclopedia of Aging (2002). Areas: Aging, Work and Organizations, Medical Sociology, and Family.
WHAT GOOD COMES OF LIVING LONGER?
.......Social institutions use age to characterize individuals and sort them as to the use of life time. Yet with the democratization of longevity, the contemporary outlook about aging has become profoundly ambiguous. We both celebrate it and regret it; societies organize efforts to guarantee the welfare and longevity of their citizens, but then resent the elders in their midst. My research has addressed the ambiguity of aging with studies of the process of retirement—how people anticipate, enter, and adapt to this stage of life, as well as the societal arrangements that shape this process. I am also conducting research on the management and meaning of possessions in later life—how people’s belongings support their identity but can also weigh them down.
Spring 2013 Courses
- Soc 523 Sociology of Aging and the Life Course