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Title: Feminism and critical educational gerontology : an agenda for good practice
Authors: Formosa, Marvin
Keywords: Gerontology -- Education
University of the Third Age
Older people
Gerontology -- Women
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Ageing International
Citation: Ageing International. 2005, Vol.30(4), p. 396-411.
Abstract: The aim of this research piece is to focus on the ‘empowering’ potential inherent in that interface between feminist gerontology and critical educational gerontology. Following a feminist criticism of critical educational gerontology as yet another patriarchal discourse where women are silenced and made passive through their invisibility, I attempt to construct a critical agenda for feminist educational gerontology. Field research was carried out at the University of the Third Age (U3A) in Valletta (Malta), due to the fact that the U3As represent one of the most successful and important educational program specifically developed for older persons. Data analyses reveal the necessity of introducing five principles for the founding a truly feminist educational experience in later life, namely: acknowledging older women as an oppressed population due to the ‘double standard of aging’; a focus on women’s lifelong cumulative disadvantages; emphasizing a ‘politics of difference’; embracing a feminist praxis in both older adult education and research activities; and finally, embodying a drive towards the empowerment of older women in a distinct but collective effort
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