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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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Controlled Selves and Tempered Bodies

Controlled Selves and Tempered Bodies

(p.202) 8 Controlled Selves and Tempered Bodies
Encounters with Aging

Margaret Lock

University of California Press

Maturation within the social order takes priority in Japan over aging and biological change, and individuals experience and record their movement through the life cycle largely by the way their human relationships shift through time. This chapter turns to themes that appear repeatedly in fragmentary form in many of the narratives. One concerns attitudes toward time, especially in the individual life cycle and in aging, and the second, the conceptualizing, socializing, and disciplining of the human body, in particular the female body, to make it conform to Japanese society. This discussion points up the intimate relation between the meanings that women attribute to kōnenki in the narratives they create about this stage of the life cycle and the widely accepted ideology that the only suitable path to social maturity and satisfaction is through service to others.

Keywords:   life cycle, aging, human body, social maturity, service to others

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