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Vital Involvement in Old Age


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About the Author

A winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Erik H. Erikson was renowned worldwide as teacher, clinician, and theorist in the field of psychoanalysis and human development. Joan Mowat Erikson was born in Canada; she earned her B.A. in Education at Columbia University and an M.A. in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a teacher, writer, and craftsman and has worked with gold, silver, and precious stones. She is the author of a previous book, The Universal Bead. She is married to the noted psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson.


This addition to the literature on aging focuses on the need for the elderly to remain vitally involved in the present. In the first chapter Erikson outlines his now famous theory of the eight-stage life cycle. Chapter two consists of often repetitious reflections on the results of interviews with 29 octogenarians from the Berkeley, California area. The third chapter is a reworking of a previously published essay exploring the life history of the protagonist depicted in Bergman's film classic Wild Strawberries. The concluding chapter discusses some of the issues associated with old age in the United States. The book will interest those who wish to learn how Erikson's psychosocial themes relate to the last stage of life. Robin B. Devin, Univ. of Rhode Island Lib., Kingston

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