The Gero-punk Lexicon: A Primer

Welcome to a work-in-progress, the “Gero-punk Lexicon.” You probably think you know what a lexicon is (a collection of words and their definitions, usually in alphabetical order, but since this lexicon in a work-in-progress and totally gero-punk, it will be in any order I please. So there.). But you definitely don’t know what a gero-punk is, and neither do I…it is something to be experienced, to be discovered…thought I will say this — To me. to be a gero-punk is to take responsibility for who I become as I travel through the life-course, to resist simple states of consciousness and having my aging experience defined by others, but instead to chose see my life as a riveting story unfolding in amazing, strange, vivid, and cool ways. What does being a gero-punk mean to you?
Right now, this project is about de-colonizing the minds and lifeworlds of aging people (And by “aging people,” I mean all of us. You know who you are, and you know I am right!) by critically reflecting upon, interrogating, and creating new interpretations of words and concepts that have become a major part of normative public and academic discourse about aging, later life, and old people. Resist the normative, or at least understand it before you live by it!
The stuff of this project comes from my daily life as a gero-punk. Here’s an entry to get us started. Stay tuned for more.

About Jenny Sasser, Ph.D.

I am a freelance educational gerontologist, writer, community activist and facilitator. I am former Chair of the Department of Human Sciences and Director of Gerontology at Marylhurst University. I joined the faculty as an adjunct member of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program in 1997 and since that time, I've been involved in designing many on-campus and web-based courses and programs for adult learners, including in Gerontology. As an undergraduate I attended Willamette University, graduating Cum Laude in Psychology and Music; my interdisciplinary graduate studies at University of Oregon and Oregon State University focused on the Human Sciences, with specialization areas in adult development and aging, women’s studies, and critical social theory and alternative research methodologies. My dissertation became part of a book published in 1996 and co-authored with Dr. Janet Lee--Blood Stories: Menarche and the Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary US Society. Over the past twenty (or more!) years I have been involved in inquiry in the areas of creativity in later life; older women's embodiment; sexuality and aging; critical Gerontological theory; transformational adult learning practices; and inter-generational friendships and cross-generational collaborative inquiry. I am co-author, with Dr. Harry R. Moody of Aging: Concepts and Controversies (now in its 10th edition!) and first author, also with Moody, of the recently published Gerontology: The Basics, as well as author/co-author of several book chapters, articles and essays. I am on the Portland Community College Gerontology Program faculty.
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1 Response to The Gero-punk Lexicon: A Primer

  1. Susie Hotz says:

    Beautifully written ! I read Part 2 to your Gramma this morning !!

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