Thirty-five years ago, in his landmark portrait of the turbluent ‘60s, historian Theodore Roszak coined the term “counter culture.” Now he’s publishing a sequel of sorts, The Making of an Elder Culture, a look at the potential for the change-makers of yore to shape an elder-dominated society. How likely is it, he asks, that “a generation numbering millions — who were ready to doubt everything and try anything — will settle, in their later years, for their parents’ idea of retirement any more than they settled, in their youth, for their parents’ idea of success and happiness?” For starters, between 70 and 80% are planning to work past the point at which their parents retired. That was the case before the recession kicked in. Depending on how rough things get, we may be in for radical change on a number of fronts.
I learned about Roszak’s new book in the current issue of H. R. Moody’s excellent Human Values in Aging Newsletter, which comes out of the AARP Office of Academic Affairs. Sign up here.