The social problems associated with aging are viewed as derived from a series of socially defined meanings in the areas of: (1) power/authority,(2) responsibility, (3) productivity/work, (4) dependence/ independence,and (5) knowledge/rationality. A parallel series of alternative meanings is proposed which make possible the creation of alternative institutional forms which hold promise for making contemporary problems substantially obsolete. An era of post-professinalism is envisioned in which helping agents become political activists committed to social change on the cognitive, as well as the material level.

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