Aging Literacies:
Training and Development Challenges for Faculty

Angela Crow

Gender and Aging: Cumulative (Dis)advantages

Chapter 5, primarily concerned with issues of gender, returns to the topic of life course studies; this is because women’s circumstances are frequently more complex and less linear than their male counterparts, as a result of parenting and caring for elderly parents. These multiple roles, along with one’s professional persona, Crow describes as “identity categories” and of them she queries: “what if the proposed literacies aren’t interesting to the person, what if that person wants to conserve her energy, giving her time to other concerns” such as child or elder care (p. 77)? Put another way, Crow states that there are bound to be faculty who will have an appetite for new literacies “if they see themselves on a certain trajectory that includes a correlation between technology thick literacies and a rise in [professional] prestige” (p. 85). This, however, is not always the case, and broadly speaking it may be even less so for women and men who experience greater self-worth in performances outside of the work setting (p. 85). In the final analysis, Crow allows that there is uncertainty over how gender may shape learning, but she nevertheless believes that “we should pay attention” (p. 87). While the chapter has gender as its principal focus, Crow also raises the dimensions of race and class in relation to aging.