Understanding Communication and Aging is the most accessible introductory text in the area of communication and aging. The book examines key topics such as interpersonal and family relationships in old age, media portrayals of aging, cultural variations in intergenerational communication, and health communication in old age. With a lively presentation style, the book presents central research findings in the area while engaging students more broadly in the important questions concerning communication and human aging: Why do some people age more successfully than others? What role does communication play in shaping our attitudes and feelings about getting older? Are there different or better ways in which we could get old? Students will emerge with a greater understanding of communication and aging research, and with a greater interest and sensitivity to the ways in which communication is shaped by, and itself influences, the aging process.
Jake Harwood (Ph.D., Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara) is Professor of Communication at the University of Arizona. He is author of Understanding Communication and Aging (2007, Sage) and co-editor of The Dynamics of Intergroup Communication (Peter Lang, 2011). His publications have appeared in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, and the British Journal of Social Psychology, among others. His research focuses on intergroup communication with a particular focus on age groups. He is interested in the ways in which cognitive (e.g., stereotypes) and societal (e.g., mass media) representations of groups relate to communication processes.
Part I. Introduction to the Study of Aging and Intergenerational Communication1. Perspectives on Aging Why Study Aging? Approaches to Aging Methods for Studying Aging Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated Bibliography2. A Communication Approach to Aging Decline in Communication Counterpoint: A Positive Research Agenda on Aging Approaches to Communication and Aging Key Propositions Guiding the Book: A Communication Approach Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated BibliographyPart II. Attitudes About Aging and Interpersonal Communication3. Stereotypes and Attitudes About Aging and Intergenerational Communication Distinguishing Stereotypes and Attitudes Attitudes Concerning Aging Stereotypes of Aging Age Identity-Talkin' 'Bout My Generation Cognitive Representations of Intergenerational Communication Why Do Negative Attitudes and Stereotypes Matter? Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated Bibliography4. Aging, Identity, Attitudes, and Intergenerational Communication Communication Accommodation Theory The Communication Predicament of Aging (CPA) Model The Age Stereotypes in Interaction Model Supporting Dependency Other Dimensions of Accommodation Age Identity: Disclosing and Concealing Age in Communication Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated Bibliography5. Intragenerational Relationships in Older Adulthood Marital Relationships in Old Age Intragenerational Friendships in Old Age Sibling Relationships Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated Bibliography6. Intergenerational Relationships in Older Adulthood Grandparenting The Parent-Child Relationship in Older Adulthood Intergenerational Friendships Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated Bibliography7. Enhancing Communication with Older Adults Change in Young People: The Influence of Intergenerational Contact on Attitudes Ending the Predicament: The Communication Enhancement Model Change in Older Adults: Confronting Patronizing Talk Communication Skills and Communication Training Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated BibliographyPart III. Social Representations and Mass Communication8. Mass Communication Portrayals of Older Adults Underrepresentation Negative Representation Positive Portrayals The Media Industry Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated Bibliography9. Uses and Effects of Media Age Differences in Media Use Uses and Gratifications Theory Media Effects Older People as "Embracers" of Television? Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated Bibliography10. Culture, Communication, and Aging East Asia South Asia (India) United States Latino Cultures Native American Cultures Globalization and Transcultural Themes Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated BibliographyPart IV. Contexts of Communication in Older Adulthood11. Health and Health Care Physician-Older Patient Interaction Support Groups for Caregivers Elder Abuse Additional Topics Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated Bibliography12. Technology Stereotypes of Older Adults-Technological Competence The Reality of Older Adults-Computer Use What Do Older People Do on the Internet? Technology and the Workplace Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated BibliographyPart V. Conclusion13. Conclusion A Model of Aging in Individual and Societal Context What Can You Do Now? Summary Keywords and Theories Discussion Questions Annotated Bibliography