Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rose, Amy D.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Older women--Aging--Attitudes; Menopause--Public opinion; Adult education--Women--Public opinion


This study examines the history of our cultural attitudes toward menopause and aging women. Hermeneutic inquiry and Michel Foucault's genealogy methodology are used to explore how menopausal women known as Crones, who enjoyed respect and admiration in ancient societies, became the focus of the witch trials and now exist on the margins of society. Likewise, the rise of professionalism and allopathic medicine during the 19th century and how this created an environment in which menopause, a normal biological function, was transformed into a treatable disease is examined. The personal experiences of nine women ranging in age from forty-five to sixty-six are interpreted using narrative analyses. A new term describing the learning experiences of menopausal women, “menogogy,” is introduced. The study presents an analysis of adult education and the foundational theories of adult development, learning, and personal transformation and their relevance to the experiences of menopausal women. The study concludes by calling on adult educators to support and empower menopausal women to create a new cultural narrative about women and aging.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [319]-332).


xxvi, 340 pages




Northern Illinois University

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