By Jan Baars
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Extra resources for Ageing, meaning and social structure : connecting critical and humanistic gerontology
Berlin, 1958, p 3) Berlin’s interpretation of the concept of positive freedom is characterised by the notion of self-direction, and produces an uncommonly striking description of late modern self-awareness: I wish my life and decisions to depend on myself, not on external forces of whatever kind. I wish to be the instrument of my own, not of other men’s, acts of will. I wish to be a subject, not an object; to be moved by reasons, by conscious purposes, which are my own, not by causes which affect me, as it were, from outside.
The struggle to lead one’s own life means the struggle to act and live as independently and unhindered by others as much as possible. This is precisely the ideological impression of things ‘in the American context, where individualism and independence are central to national self-identity’ (Holstein, 2010a, p 632) One’s own ageing In 1933, the psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung wrote an essay entitled ‘The stages of life’. Young people were educated to discover future goals to focus on and develop skills to achieve them.
Russell, B. (2009) Mysticism and logic: And other essays, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Settersten, R. and Trauten, M. (2009) ‘The new terrain of old age: hallmarks, freedoms and risks’, in V. Bengston, D. Gans, N. Putney and M. Silverstein (eds) Handbook of theories of aging (2nd edn), New York: Springer, pp 455-70. , Oishi, S. B. (2009) ‘Meaning in life across the life span: levels and correlates of meaning in life from emerging adulthood to older adulthood’, The Journal of Positive Psychology, vol 4, no 1, pp 43-52.