Barbara H. Rosenwein: "Old Age and Happiness"

  • Datum: –15.00
  • Plats: Engelska parken 6-3025 (Rausingrummet)
  • Arrangör: Institutionen för idé- och lärdomshistoria
  • Kontaktperson: Ylva Söderfeldt
  • Seminarium

Högre seminariet i idé- och lärdomshistoria

Research presentation by Barbara H. Rosenwein, Loyola University Chicago.

Participants are invited to read a paper that will be made available beforehand.


"Happiness in Old Age: A Very Brief History of a Complex Topic"

The very definition of happiness as well as its importance are not the same in different cultures and historical periods. This point has been explored by scholars. But when it comes to the place of happiness among elderly people, only sociologists have been interested, and their work is focused only on the contemporary world. In my essay, I take up the question of happiness in old age in historical perspective. I begin with ancient Greece and end with our own time, thus taking in the sweep of Western history. My thesis in this essay is that old people—even within the same culture and who are contemporaries with one another--do not necessarily agree on what makes them happy. The essay is, in effect, the outline of one issue taken up by a book that I am working on. I welcome comments and suggestions.