Tarda adultità e vecchiaia come traguardi esistenziali: compiti per la ricerca pedagogica

  • Maria Teresa Moscato


The paper focusses on social representations of old age, considered as real “educational objects” in their effects on the existential design of aging people. Through a wide literature review, beginning from “classic” theories (Necker, Jung, Erikson, Guardini) and considering the Italian pedagogical debate of the last twenty years, the A. highlights the necessity of changing the representation of aging. She suggests to distinguish a first phase referred to people between 60 and 75 years (defined “late adulthood”) from a second one, defined “old age”. Also in this second phase, people can have a good psychic functioning, so that they can show (and should take) personal and social meaningful responsibilities: their experience is a resource. For this reason, it’s necessary to rethink the quality of “detachment” as a real “ego virtue” of late adults, not to avoid action and commitment. The mythic-archetypal figure of Abraham’s vocation can be used as a new powerful metaphor.