Gender, Aging and the State


179 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-895431-96-4
DDC 305.26





Edited by Peter Leonard and Barbara Nichols
Reviewed by Christine Hughes

Christine Hughes is a policy analyst at the Ontario Native Affairs


This collection of five essays examines the impact of gender, class, and
ethnicity on the experience of aging and on the social position of older
people in several contemporary urban Canadian settings. The book’s
editors, both of whom are affiliated with the McGill School of Social
Work, provide a useful overview to the volume with their introductory
chapter on the theory and politics of aging. With one exception, the
essays focus on the experiences of older women. One case (Rita Bonar)
examines how frail elderly women from an ethnic minority group (Italian)
in Montreal respond to receiving care from family members. Three other
essays examine various issues associated with care-giving and -receiving
among aging white middle-class women. In the fifth article, David
Woodsworth presents a first-hand account of retirement from the male

Although each of the articles stands well on its own, it would have
been helpful had the editors drawn the themes together in a concluding
chapter. Despite this small shortcoming, the volume contributes to the
emerging literature describing the experience of aging, particularly
among women. The book contains some valuable insights for people
developing social policy and for those involved in the practice of
social work with people who are struggling to maintain their
independence in their later years.


“Gender, Aging and the State,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed March 29, 2023,