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Encounters with AgingMythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America$
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Margaret Lock

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780520082212

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520082212.001.0001

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Epilogue The Politics of Aging—Flashes of Immortality

Epilogue The Politics of Aging—Flashes of Immortality

(p.370) Epilogue The Politics of Aging—Flashes of Immortality
Encounters with Aging

Margaret Lock

University of California Press

This book has suggested that knowledge about the body is a product of history and culture and thus changes with location and over time. More specifically, menopause is neither a fact nor universal event but an experience that we must interpret in context. This chapter concludes that the meanings attributed to biological change that accompanies the end of menstruation show us most clearly the specifics of culture, and hence the differences. It is from a broader vantage point that we must take on the ideologies of menopause and kōnenki respectively, because the rhetoric, although superficially so different, has in common a fear of aging, and in particular the burden to society that old women become.

Keywords:   menopause, kōnenki, old women, aging, human body, menstruation

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