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Seminar Series: Melissa Hardy, Department of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University

Exploring the Intersection of World War II Military Service and Longevity
When Apr 13, 2015
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
Attendees Christine Bachrach
Feinian Chen
Carry Clarady
Nicole DeLoatch
Joan Kahn
Meredith Kleykamp
Lucia Lykke
Tyler Myroniuk
Amanda Nguyen
Julie Park
Michael Rendall
Liana Sayer
Rachel Shattuck
Mahesh Somashekhar
Yassaman Vafai
Moriah Willow
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About the Talk

Even as it fades from the cache of lived memory, World War II (WWII) remains the defining event of the 20th century. Having reshaped the lives of those born in the first part of the century, the war arguably had its strongest effect on those called up to military service. In today’s volunteer armed forces, military service has become a career choice for young men and women, drawing disproportionately from groups with lower socioeconomic status. However, for most of the 20th century the military relied heavily on conscripts to provide the necessary numbers. The manpower needs for WWII were so high the military drew from all social strata and across a relatively wide age range to build a military force that would exceed 16 million. These men comprised from one-quarter to three-quarters of the men whose birth cohorts placed them in the specified age range and who were deemed eligible for service. Almost one in four men in the current U.S. populations are veterans, and for those aged 65 and older, the proportion exceeds one-half. In this paper, we use data from the original cohort of older men in the National Longitudinal Surveys and recently matched data from the National Death Index and the Social Security Death Index to test hypotheses regarding the mortality advantage or disadvantage that have been linked to military service.

About the Speaker

Melissa Hardy

Melissa Hardy is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Demography, Director of the Graduate Program in Sociology, and Director of the Tremin Research Program on Women’s Health at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research addresses the intersections of aging, the life course, and social change, with an emphasis on retirement transitions, older workers, health and mortality, and social attitudes.  

Visit Professor Hardy's webpage


Please note that, at the present time, Morrill Hall is not accessible for handicapped individuals.

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