Dec 14, 2022 • 36M

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot – A Pioneer in Spotlighting the Third Quarter

The 25 Years After 50, Re-invented

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You are likely to live longer than you think. Are you ready? Science has gifted us ever longer, 100-year lives. This impacts… everything! From couples and careers - to companies and countries. We’ll interview the experts who are exploring the consequences – and the individuals applying it to their own lives and choices. Generational and gender expert Avivah Wittenberg-Cox talks with people designing new ways of living, working and loving at all ages – across life’s 4 quarters.
Episode details

In this last episode of 4-Quarter Lives’ first season, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox talks with Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot. A sociologist and Harvard Professor of Education, with a teaching and writing career spanning five decades, Sara was one of the first academics to examine and focus on the third quarter of life. Her book The Third Chapter: Risk, Passion, and Adventure in the Twenty-Five Years After 50 uses interviews and story-telling to explore how people respond to this time of new opportunity and activity – or not.

Life Before & After 50

Across her distinguished career, Sara has studied educational culture and ecology, and the relationship between human development and social change. She has written 11 books ranging from an examination of the relationship between families and schools, and parents and teachers, to a study of the quality of respect in human behavior and experience. More recent books include ‘Exit: The Endings that Set Us Free’ and ‘Growing Each Other Up: When Our Children Become our Teachers.’

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot has been a fellow at the Bunting Institute and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University. She is a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Prize, was awarded Harvard's George Ledlie Prize for research that makes the "most valuable contribution to science" and "the benefit of mankind" and has been the recipient of 28 honorary degrees from colleges and universities in the USA and Canada.  Since 1998 she has been the Emily Hargroves Fisher Endowed Chair at Harvard University. Upon her retirement, this will become the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Chair, making Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot the first African-American woman in Harvard's history to have an endowed professorship named in her honour.

Useful Links

For Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s full profile, click here.

In the course of the conversation, Sara mentions three of her many books: