The SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology
Publication Year: 2010
The subject matter of this Handbook deals with one of the most challenging issues for societies in the 21st Century, namely, the social, economic and cultural changes associated with individual ageing and the rapidly growing reality of the ageing of human populations. The SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology provides a comprehensive overview of key trends and issues in the field of ageing, drawing upon the full range of social science disciplines. The volume reflects the emergence of ageing as a global concern, drawing upon international scholars from Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America. The book is organized into five parts, each exploring different aspects of research into social aspects of ageing: · Disciplinary overviews: summaries of findings from key disciplinary areas within social gerontology · ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Section 1: Fundamental and Disciplinary Perspectives on Ageing
- Chapter 1: The Study of the Life Course: Implications for Social Gerontology
- Chapter 2: Past as Prologue: Toward a Global History of Ageing
- Chapter 3: The Economics of Ageing
- Chapter 4: Social Anthropology and Ageing
- Chapter 5: The Demography of Ageing
- Chapter 6: Epidemiology of Ageing
- Chapter 7: Disability and Ageing: The Social Construction of Causality
- Chapter 8: Environmental Perspectives on Ageing
- Section 2: Ageing and Social Structure
- Chapter 9: Age and Inequality in Global Context
- Chapter 10: Gender and Ageing in the Context of Globalization
- Chapter 11: Ageing and Health Among Hispanics/Latinos in the Americas
- Chapter 12: Religion and Age
- Chapter 13: Intergenerational Relationships of International Migrants in Developed Nations: The United States and France
- Chapter 14: Family and Age in a Global Perspective
- Chapter 15: Intergenerational Relations: Asian Perspectives
- Chapter 16: Societal Dynamics in Personal Networks
- Chapter 17: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Ageing: Shattering Myths, Capturing Lives
- Chapter 18: Friendship and Ageing
- Section 3: Ageing and Individual Change
- Chapter 19: Age, Self, and Identity in the Global Century
- Chapter 20: Social Structure, Cognition, and Ageing
- Chapter 21: Stress and Agentic Ageing: A Targeted Adaptation Model Focused on Cancer
- Chapter 22: Agency and Social Structure in Aging and Life-course Research
- Chapter 23: Age, Experience, and the Beginning of Wisdom
- Chapter 24: Loneliness and Ageing: Comparative Perspectives
- Chapter 25: Biosocial Interactions in the Construction of Late-life Health Status
- Chapter 26: Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment in Social and Cultural Context
- Chapter 27: Sociocultural Perspectives on Ageing Bodies
- Chapter 28: Time and Ageing: Enduring and Emerging Issues
- Section 4: Ageing, Culture, and Development
- Chapter 29: Ageing and International Development
- Chapter 30: Migration and Age
- Chapter 31: Global Ageing: Perspectives from Sub-Saharan Africa
- Chapter 32: Population Ageing and Old-age Insurance in China
- Chapter 33: Ageing in a Global Context: The Asia-Pacific Region
- Chapter 34: The Significance of Grandparents to Grandchildren: An International Perspective
- Chapter 35: A Social View on Healthy Ageing: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives and Australian Evidence
- Chapter 36: Social Dimensions of Anti-ageing Science and Medicine
- Chapter 37: The New Ageing Enterprise
- Section 5: Ageing and Social Policy
- Chapter 38: Social Policies for Ageing Societies: Perspectives from Europe
- Chapter 39: Globalization, Social Policy, and Ageing: A North American Perspective
- Chapter 40: Social Policies for Ageing Societies: Australasian Perspectives
- Chapter 41: Cross-National Trends in Work and Retirement
- Chapter 42: Continuous and Long-term Care: European Perspectives
- Chapter 43: Long-term Care in China and Japan
- Chapter 44: Ageing and Quality of Life in Europe
- Chapter 45: Later Life and Imprisonment
- Chapter 46: Ageing and Urban Society: Growing Old in the ‘Century of the City’
- Chapter 47: Technology and Older People
- Chapter 48: End-of-Life Issues
- Chapter 49: Ethics and Old Age: The Second Generation
- Chapter 50: The Politics of Ageing
Editorial content and arrangement, Dale Dannefer and Chris Phillipson © 2010
Chapter 1 © Dale Dannefer and Richard A. Settersten, Jr. 2010
Chapter 2 © W. Andrew Achenbaum 2010
Chapter 3 © James H. Schulz 2010
Chapter 4 © Christine L. Fry 2010
Chapter 5 © Christina Victor 2010
Chapter 6 © Dawn Alley and Eileen Crimmins 2010
Chapter 7 © Jessica Kelley-Moore 2010
Chapter 8 © Hans-Werner Wahl and Frank Oswald 2010
Chapter 9 © Angela M. O'Rand, Katelin Isaacs, and Leslie Roth 2010
Chapter 10 © Toni Calasanti 2010
Chapter 11 © Kyriakos Markides, Jennifer Salinas, and Rebecca Wong 2010
Chapter 12 © Peter G. Coleman 2010
Chapter 13 © Merril Silverstein and Claudine Attias-Donfut 2010
Chapter 14 © Ariela Lowenstein and Ruth Katz 2010
Chapter 15 © Leng Leng Thang 2010
Chapter 16 © Theo van Tilburg and Fleur Thomése 2010
Chapter 17 © Dana Rosenfeld 2010
Chapter 18 © Graham Allan 2010
Chapter 19 © Jon Hendricks 2010
Chapter 20 © Duane F. Alwin 2010
Chapter 21 © Eva Kahana and Boaz Kahana 2010
Chapter 22 © Victor W. Marshall and Philippa J. Clarke 2010
Chapter 23 © Monika Ardelt 2010
Chapter 24 © Marja Jylhä and Marja Saarenheimo 2010
Chapter 25 © Kathryn Z. Douthit and Andre Marquis 2010
Chapter 26 © Danny George and Peter Whitehouse 2010
Chapter 27 © Stephen Katz 2010
Chapter 28 © Jan Baars 2010
Chapter 29 © Peter Lloyd-Sherlock 2010
Chapter 30 © Tony Warnes 2010
Chapter 31 © Isabella Aboderin 2010
Chapter 32 © Zeng Yi and Linda K. George 2010
Chapter 33 © David R Phillips, Alfred C.M. Chan, and Sheung-Tak Cheng 2010
Chapter 34 © Peter Uhlenberg and Michelle Cheuk 2010
Chapter 35 © H. Kendig and C. Browning 2010
Chapter 36 © Robert H. Binstock and Jennifer R. Fishman 2010
Chapter 37 © Harry R. Moody 2010
Chapter 38 © Thomas Scharf 2010
Chapter 39 © Carroll L. Estes and Steven P. Wallace 2010
Chapter 40 © Michael Fine and Sally Keeling 2010
Chapter 41 © Philip Taylor 2010
Chapter 42 © Caroline Glendinning 2010
Chapter 43 © Yun Zhou and Yuzhi Liu 2010
Chapter 44 © Alan Walker 2010
Chapter 45 © Azrini Wahidin and Ronald H. Aday 2010
Chapter 46 © Chris Phillipson 2010
Chapter 47 © Claudine McCreadie 2010
Chapter 48 © Liz Lloyd 2010
Chapter 49 © Martha Holstein 2010
Chapter 50 © Susan A. MacManus 2010 with the assistance of Andrea L. Polk and David J. Bonanza 2010
First published 2010
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Notes on Contributors
Isabella Aboderin, PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Ageing, University of Oxford where she leads the programme on Africa and co-ordinates the African Research on Ageing Network. Isabella is Africa Regional Chair of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics. Her research interests centre on three areas: Ageing and development in sub-Saharan Africa, Intergenerational family support and social change in sub-Saharan Africa and Social and life course determinants of health in old age.
W. Andrew Achenbaum, a Professor of History and Social Work in the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work, holds the Gerson & Sabina David Professorship in Global Aging. He also is an adjunct professor of geriatric and palliative care and a senior fellow in the Institute of Spirituality and Health, both in the Houston, Texas Medical Center. A graduate of Amherst College, Achenbaum received his PhD from the University of Michigan, where he was a professor of history and deputy director of its Institute of Gerontology. An author of five books (most recently Older Americans, Vital Communities, Johns Hopkins, 2007) and co-editor of twelve others, Mr. Achenbaum is currently working on Leaving a Legacy with H. R. Moody and embarking on a biography of Robert N. Butler.
Ronald H. Aday, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at Middle Tennessee State University where he served for 25 years as the Director of Aging Studies. He received his PhD from Oklahoma State University with specialties in crime, corrections and gerontology. His lifelong work on aging and health issues in the field of corrections has contributed significantly to the public policy debate on older offenders. He has published extensively on the topic including Aging Prisoners: Crisis in American Corrections. His forthcoming co-authored books with Jennifer Krabill include Older Women in Prison: Understanding the Lives of an Indivisible Population and Managing Geriatric Inmates: Best Practice Models.
Graham Allan is Professor of Sociology at the University of Keele, UK. His research has focused principally on the sociology of informal relationships, including friendships, family ties, and community sociology. He has published widely in these areas. Recently he has acted as one of the Advisory Editors for George Ritzer's Encyclopedia of Sociology. He is also co-editor of the Palgrave Studies in Family Sociology book series.
Dawn E. Alley is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She received her PhD in gerontology from the University of Southern California in 2006 and held a postdoctoral fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines predictors of disability in late life, with a focus on obesity, stress, and socioeconomic health disparities. She has collaborated with investigators from multiple population-based longitudinal cohort studies of older persons, including the Health and Retirement Study, the InCHIANTI study, and the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study. She is currently working on a study examining the association between stress, metabolic syndrome, and physical function in older caregivers.
Duane F. Alwin is the Tracy Winfree and Ted H. McCourtney Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University, where he currently directs the Center on Population Health and Aging. He received a PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin in 1972. He is a former chair of the Section on Aging and the Life Course of the American Sociological Association. His research interests [Page x]include a wide range of phenomena concerned with the connection between human development, social structure, demography, and social change. His research has received continuous support from the National Institute on Aging since 1983. His current scholarship focuses on the implications of population processes for research on cognitive aging, as well as on the linkage between social structures and health inequalities. He has published extensively on these and related topics and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, grants, and special university honors.
Monika Ardelt, PhD, is Associate Professor of Sociology and the 2008 Colonel Allan R. and Margaret G. Crow Term Professor at the University of Florida. She is also a 1999 Brookdale National Fellow and a 2005 Positive Psychology Templeton Senior Fellow. She is a Founding Faculty Member and Member of the Advisory Committee of the Center for Spirituality and Health at the University of Florida. Dr. Ardelt received her Diploma (MA) in Sociology from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University of Frankfurt/Main in Germany and her PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on successful human development across the life course with particular emphasis on the relations between wisdom, religion, spirituality, aging well, and dying well.
Jan Baars is Professor of Interpretive Gerontology at the University for Humanistics in Utrecht and Professor of Philosophy of the Social Sciences and the Humanities at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. In the 80s he was one of the founders of Critical Gerontology, a paradigm which proved its continuing strength in Aging, Globalization and Inequality: The New Critical Gerontology (Baywood, 2006) which he edited with Dannefer, Phillipson and Walker. His other recent work analyzes the role of concepts of time in the study of aging, such as Aging and Time (Baywood, 2007) and Aging: Living through Different Times (forthcoming, Johns Hopkins University Press).
Robert H. Binstock, PhD, is Professor of Aging, Health, and Society at Case Western Reserve University. A former president of the Gerontological Society of America, he has served as director of a White House Task Force on Older Americans, and chair of the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association. He has frequently testified before the U.S. Congress. Most of Binstock's 300 publications deal with policies and politics affecting aging. His latest book is Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences (7th edition, 2011) co-edited with Linda K. George.
Colette Browning, PhD, is Director of Monash Research for an Ageing Society and the Healthy Ageing Research Unit at Monash University. Her research focuses on psychosocial approaches to ageing, interventions to optimize healthy ageing, and ageing and culture. She is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, Associate Editor of Australian Psychologist and serves on the editorial board of Gerontology. She has more than 100 publications on health and ageing and chronic illness.
Toni Calasanti, PhD, is a Professor of Sociology at Virginia Tech, where she is also a faculty affiliate of both the Center for Gerontology and Women's and Gender Studies. Chosen as the 2008–09 Petersen Visiting Scholar in Gerontology and Family Studies, Oregon State University, she is co-author of Gender, Social Inequalities, and Aging and co-editor of Age Matters: Re-Aligning Feminist Thinking (both with Kathleen Slevin), and has published in such journals as Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences; The Gerontologist; Social Forces; Journal of Aging Studies; and Men and Masculinities. Her recent work focuses on age and gender in relation to spousal care-work, and on the intersecting inequalities in relation to aging bodies and the anti-aging industry.
Alfred Chan is currently Chair Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies at Lingnan University. Professor Chan's writings on health and social care issues have been published in leading journals on social sciences. His recent works include an interpretation of inter-generational relationships, ageing and long-term care policies in Asia Pacific, the development of health and social-care measurements, quality-of-life and public service consumer satisfaction surveys.
Sheung-Tak Cheng is Chair Professor at the Department of Psychological Studies, Hong Kong Institute of Education. He has published over 70 articles in psychology and gerontology. His research is focused on the intergenerational transfer of social capital, in terms of how the interactions of older and younger people benefit each other, and in terms of younger persons’ support to older persons when the latter become dependent. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, and a recipient of the Outstanding International Psychologist Award from the American Psychological Association (Division 52).[Page xi]
Philippa Clarke is a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Dr. Clarke's research interests are in social gerontology, social epidemiology, life course perspectives, disability, and population health. She is primarily interested in the social determinants of health at both the micro and macro levels of social reality and at the intersection of these levels as well. Her current work examines the social determinants of health trajectories over the adult life course; the role of the built environment in disability progression; and the mental health consequences of social policy changes in retirement.
Peter G. Coleman is Professor of Psychogerontology at the University of Southampton, England, a joint appointment between the Schools of Psychology and of Medicine. He received his PhD in the psychology of ageing from the University of London 1972 and subsequently worked for five years in the Department of Social Gerontology in the Institute of Applied Psychology, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Most of his research relates to mental health issues, especially the functions of reminiscence and sources of self-esteem and meaning in later life. In more recent years he has focused on the role of religion and spirituality with ageing, and has received funding both from the Economic and Social Research and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) for research on bereavement and spiritual belief, and on the role of ritual, secular as well as religious, in older people's lives. He has co-edited textbooks for the British Society of Gerontology, and made contributions to various handbooks on the subjects of Gerontology, Clinical Psychology and Spirituality. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK).
Eileen Crimmins, PhD, is the AARP Professor of Gerontology at the University of Southern California where she is currently the director of the USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health. She received her PhD in Demography at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been on the Board of Councilors for the National Center for Health Statistics, and a member of several NIA Monitoring Committees. She has been Vice-President of the Population Association of America, Chair of the Section on Aging and the Life Course of the American Sociological Association, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Society for the Study of Social Biology. She serves as Associate Editor for a number of journals. She is a Co PI of the Health and Retirement Survey which is the major longitudinal survey in the United States on aging and health issues. Professor Crimmins currently works on two major areas: trends and differences in population health and the links between social, psychological, and behavioral characteristics and biological risk factors. Professor Crimmins and members of her Center have been instrumental in increasing the collection of data on biological risk in large populations. This has included involvement in the planning, collection, and assessment of data for many surveys around the world including: the Nihon University Longitudinal Study of Aging in Japan, the Mexican Family Life Study, and the Chinese Health and Retirement Study.
Dale Dannefer is Selah Chamberlain Professor of Sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology at Case Western Reserve University. Professor Dannefer received his PhD in Sociology from Rutgers University and has been a fellow at Yale University and at the Andrus Gerontology Center at USC, and a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin. He is a recipient of the Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award of the Section on Aging and the Life Course of the American Sociological Association. He holds elected offices in both the Behavioral and Social Sciences section of the Gerontological Society of America and the Section of Aging and the Life Course of the ASA, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journals of Gerontology Social Sciences and Social Forces. Current research topics include life course theory, cumulative dis/advantage processes and the possibilities of participatory action research for facilitating culture change in long-term care.
Kathryn Douthit, PhD, is Chair and Associate Professor of Counseling and Human Development in the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester. Douthit's research interests, focused generally on social determinants of health, reflect her cross-disciplinary training in in immunology and human development. More specifically, Douthit's work explores the relationships between late life brain health and cumulative life course advantage and disadvantage.
Carroll L. Estes, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is Board Chair of both the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and the National Committee Foundation. Dr. Estes is founding and first director of the UCSF Institute for [Page xii]Health & Aging. She is past president of the Gerontological Society of America, the American Society on Aging, and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.
Michael Fine is Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Sociology and Deputy Director, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He received his PhD in anthropology and sociology from the University of Sydney in 1988, for a study of nursing home care in the Netherlands. He researches, publishes and teaches in the fields of ageing, care, human services and social policy. His current research concerns theory and innovations in care; social isolation and social exclusion; and the aged care workforce. He holds or has held a number of significant national and international positions including Deputy-President of RC11 (the Research Committee on Ageing of the International Sociological Association), and President of the Australian Association of Gerontology (NSW Div). He is editorial advisor to a number of international journals and receives regular national and international invitations as a speaker, researcher and policy advisor. His recent book, A Caring Society? Care and the Dilemmas of Human Service in the Twenty-First Century, was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2007.
Jennifer R. Fishman, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of the Social Studies of Medicine and Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University. Fishman's sociological research centers on the empirical investigation of the commercialization and commodification of new biomedical technologies. Her work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social Studies of Science, and Sociology of Health and Illness. She is currently working on a project exploring the advent and implementation of ‘personalized genomic medicine.’
Christine L. Fry is Professor of Anthropology Emerita at Loyola University of Chicago. Her continuing interests are in aging, community studies of older adults, the meaning of age and the life course, and cross-cultural studies of age. She was co-director of Project AGE (Jennie Keith co-director, Charlotte Ikels, Anthony Glascock, Jeanette Dickerson-Putman, Pat Draper and Henry Harpending, co-PIs). She has served as Chair of the Behavioral and Social Science section of GSA as well as Secretary of GSA. She was the founder-President of the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology (AAGE). Her publications focus on the life course; the meaning of age; the meaning of a good old age (well-being); cultural transformations, globalization and old age; and anthropological theories of age. She presently lives and writes in Bisbee, Arizona, the Queen of the Copper Camps.
Daniel R. George, PhD, teaches in the Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine. He earned his DPhil and MSc in medical anthropology from Oxford University and earned his BA from The College of Wooster (Ohio). Along with Peter Whitehouse, Dr. George is co-author of The Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis (St. Martin's Press, 2008). His doctoral research evaluated whether intergenerational volunteering enhanced quality of life for persons with mild to moderate dementia.
Linda K. George is Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University. She is the author/editor of seven books, more than 200 journal articles, and more than 80 book chapters. She is past President of the Gerontological Society of America and former editor of the Social Sciences section of the Journal of Gerontology. She has been Chair of the Aging and the Life Course Section and the Sociology of Mental Health Section of the American Sociological Association. She is co-editor of the Handbook on Aging in the Social Sciences (third to seventh editions). Her major research interests include: social factors and depression; the effects of stress and coping, especially the stress of caring for an impaired family member; the relationship between religion and health; and the effects of beliefs and expectancies on health. Among her awards are the Mentorship Award of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America, the Trinity College (Duke University) Distinguished Teaching Award, the John Templeton Prize (1998 and 1999) for Exemplary Papers at the Interface of Science and Human Values, the Kleemeier Award of the Gerontological Society of America in recognition of career contributions in aging research (2002), the Dean's Mentoring Award for Graduate Students (Duke University, 2005) and the Matilda White Riley award of the American Sociological Association for distinguished scholarship on aging and the life course (2004).
Caroline Glendinning is Research Director (Adults, Older People and Carers), in the Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, England, where she leads SPRU's DH-funded research programme on [Page xiii]Choice and Change across the Lifecourse. She is also Chair of the UK Social Policy Association; Associate Director of the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research; and a Trustee of the Thalidomide Trust. Professor Glendinning has a long-standing interest in comparative research and is currently contributing to two cross-European studies of long-term care reform.
Jon Hendricks received the 2008 Kleemeier Award from the Gerontological Society of Ameria for his distinguished research. He has also been recognized by the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education with their Tibbitts Award and by GSA with its Kalish Outstanding Publication Award. He publishes on social issues affecting the aging process and has lectured internationally. Hendricks is currently co-Editor-in-Chief of the Hallym International Journal of Aging. Hendricks is affiliated with Oregon State University.
Martha Holstein, PhD, straddles the academic and policy worlds in her work on ethics, aging, and long-term care. She teaches ethics at Loyola University in Chicago and works on LTC policy with the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group also in Chicago. Once a book on ethics and aging is complete, a project shared with two colleagues, she will start work on a book that she's long wanted to write, one that is both personal and scholarly (if that's possible) and focused on being an aging woman. Interdisciplinary by inclination and training, her perspective is feminist and critical. As a relic of the 60s, her idealism is at war with her deepening cynicism about the possibilities for a better, more just society.
Katelin Isaacs is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Duke University. Her research focuses on inequality throughout the life course with a particular emphasis on gender and retirement. Her dissertation project, titled ‘Women's Retirement Insecurity Across U.S. Birth Cohorts,’ uses longitudinal data to examine how women's earlier work and family experiences shape their access to subsequent economic resources in retirement, such as Social Security, occupational pensions, and private savings wealth. A National Institute of Aging training grant on the Social, Medical, and Economic Demography of Aging funds her research.
Marja Jylhä, MD, PhD, is Professor of Gerontology at the Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere and Director of the national graduate school Doctoral Programs in Public Health. Her interests in research include self-rated health, disability and mortality in old age; social determinants of health; longevity and the oldest-old; and old age as a stage of life in the modern society. She is the Principal Investigator of Tampere Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TamELSA), and Co-PI of the Vitality 90+ Study. At present, she is also actively involved in the European Research Area in Ageing Research (ERA-AGE) and FUTURAGE.
Eva Kahana, PhD, is Robson Professor of Humanities, Sociology, Applied Social Science, Medicine and Nursing, and is the Director of the Elderly Care Research Center. She received her doctorate in human development from the University of Chicago in 1968, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Yeshiva University in 1991. Dr. Kahana has published extensively in the areas of stress, coping and adaptation of the aged.
Ruth Katz is Professor of Sociology and senior researcher at the Center for Research and Study of Aging and Head of the Graduate program at the Department of Human Services, the University of Haifa, Israel. Professor Katz received her PhD in Sociology from Tel-Aviv University, Israel and has been a visiting scholar at BYU, Utah and at the Center for Family Studies, Melbourn, Australia. She was on the international board of the Committee on Family Relations of the International Association of Sociology. She serves on the editorial boards of several international journals. She is the recipient of a large number of research grants from competitive national and international foundations like the Us-Israel Bi-National Foundation. She publishes extensively having close to 100 book chapters and articles as well as being co-editor of special issues for family journals. Current research topics include intergenerational family relations, caregiving, alternative family life styles, aging and immigration.
Stephen Katz is Professor of Sociology at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada. He is author of Disciplining Old Age: The Formation of Gerontological Knowledge (1996), Cultural Aging: Life Course, Lifestyle and Senior Worlds (2005), and numerous book chapters and articles on critical gerontology and the aging body. He is currently working on a critique of the functional aging body in relation to gerontological, neurological and pharmacological expertise on memory, cognitive impairment and the aging brain.[Page xiv]
Sally Keeling teaches and supervises research in the postgraduate Gerontology programme of the University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand, where her research interests are in the areas of social support, family care, health and wellbeing of older people. She was President of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology (2002–05), and Director of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing, Victoria University of Wellington (2007–09). Her original academic background is in social and cultural anthropology, and she has worked in the aged care and educational sector in senior management positions for many years. Her doctorate in Anthropology was attached to the Mosgiel Longitudinal Study of Ageing, from the University of Otago in 1998. She is involved with current national collaborative research projects including ‘Health, Work and Retirement’, the LILAC Study (Life and Living in advanced Age: a Cohort Study) and the NZ Longitudinal Study of Ageing.
Jessica Kelley-Moore is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Case Western Reserve University and faculty affiliate of the University Center for Aging and Health; Prevention Research Center; and Center for Reducing Health Disparities. Her research interests focus on social distribution of health disparities over the life course, particularly those related to disability, race, and geographic location.
Hal Kendig, PhD, is Head of the Ageing, Work, and Health Research Unit at the University of Sydney, and National Convenor of the ARC/NHMRC Research Network in Ageing Well. He leads research on Ageing Baby boomers in Australia and Socioeconomic Determinants of Health Inequalities over the Life Course. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Gerontology (Social Sciences). He has more than 180 publications on health, social, and policy aspects of ageing.
Yuzhi Liu graduated from Department of Mathematics at Peking University and currently serves as deputy director of Center for Healthy Aging and Development of Peking University. Her research fields include healthy longevity, gender and family issues as well as research methods in demographic studies. She has published numerous articles in the fields and is active in related projects.
Liz Lloyd is a senior Lecturer in Social Gerontology in the School for Policy Studies in the University of Bristol. Her early career was in community work, including in older people's organizations. She turned to teaching and research and obtained her doctorate from the University of Bristol in 1996. She still maintains an active interest in service-provision, as a trustee of voluntary organizations. She teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels on health and social care policies and practices. Her specialist research interest is in the relationship between ageing and the ethics of care, particularly at the end of life. She has engaged in a range of collaborative research projects with colleagues in the UK as well as internationally and she is currently the Principle Investigator on a project in the UK New Dynamics of Ageing Programme, entitled ‘Maintaining Dignity in Later Life: Older People's Experiences of Supportive Care’.
Peter Lloyd-Sherlock is Professor of Social Policy and International Development at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. He previously held lectureships at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Glasgow. Peter has led research projects on population ageing and older people in Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Thailand. His published books include Population Ageing and International: From Generalisation to Evidence (Policy Press, 2010) and Living Longer. Ageing, Development and Social Protection (Zed Books/United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 2004). He was lead author for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Guide to the National Implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (2008).
Ariela Lowenstein is Professor of Gerontology and Director, Center for Research and Study of Aging, the University of Haifa and Head, Dept. of Health Services Management at Max Stern Academic Yezreel College, Israel. Professor Lowenstein received her PhD in Sociology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and has been a fellow at The University of Massachustes Boston and at Kings’ College London. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Rosali Wolf Award from the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the recipient of a prize for Scholarly Life Achievements in Gerontology from the Israeli Gerontological Society. She serves on editorial boards of several international journals. She is the recipient of a large number of research grants from competitive national and international foundations including the European Commission. She publishes extensively, having close to [Page xv]200 book chapters and articles as well as co-editor of four books and of special issues of gerontology journals. Current research topics include intergenerational family relations, caregiving, quality of life, elder abuse and neglect, aging and immigration, gerontological education.
Susan A. MacManus is Distinguished University Professor of Public Administration and Political Science in the Department of Government and International Affairs at the University of South Florida. Her book, Young v. Old: Generational Combat in the 21st Century (Westview Press) was designated an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice magazine in 1996. Targeting Senior Voters, published in August 2000 by Rowman & Littlefield, predicted problems with punch card ballots among senior citizens before the election and was the first book to focus on problems encountered by disabled voters. She served as Chair of the Florida Elections Commission from 1999 to 2003 and helped the Collins Center For Public Policy, Inc. draft Florida's Help America Vote Act state plan required by Congress to qualify for federal funding under the Help America Vote Act. She also served as an advisor to the Florida Division of Elections on the development of its statewide poll worker training manual. In 2008, MacManus was appointed by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to two working groups: the Election Management Guidelines Development Working Group on Elderly and Disabled Voters in Long-Term Care Facilities and the Working Group on Media and Public Relations. She has long served as a political analyst for WFLA-TV - Tampa's NBC affiliate station.
Kyriakos S. Markides received his PhD in Sociology in 1976 from Louisiana State University. He is currently the Annie and John Gnitzinger Distinguished Professor of Aging and Director of the Division of Sociomedical Sciences, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Dr. Markides is the Editor of the Journal of Aging and Health which he founded in 1989. He is the author or co-author of over 290 publications most of which are on aging and health issues in the Mexican American population as well as minority aging issues in general. He is currently Principal Investigator of the Hispanic EPESE (Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly), a longitudinal study of the health of older Mexican Americans from the five Southwestern states. Dr. Markides is credited with coining the term ‘Hispanic Epidemiological Paradox’ (with J. Coreil) which is currently the leading theme in Hispanic health. He is also the editor of the Encyclopedia of Health and Aging (SAGE, 2007). The Institute for Scientific Information (ISA) has listed Dr. Markides among the most highly cited social scientists in the world. Dr. Markides is the 2006 recipient of the Distinguished Mentorship Award of the Gerontological Society of America, and the 2009 Distinguished Professor Award in Gerontology and Geriatrics from UCLA.
Victor Marshall is Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Senior Research Scientist at the UNC Institute on Aging. In addition to his interests in theorizing the life course and aging, his research focuses on aging workforce issues and the uses of the life course perspective to both understand and develop public policy.
Claudine McCreadie took a non-graduate diploma in Social Administration at the London School of Economics and, thanks to a suggestion from her tutor Professor Bleddyn Davies, went on to take a degree in Economics at Cambridge. She then had a research job, followed by a lectureship in Social Policy, at Birmingham University and a further research post at the Centre for Studies in Social Policy (later the Policy Studies Institute), before having a longish career break to bring up five children. After occasional Social Policy teaching at Royal Holloway College, she resumed her academic career as a part time Research Associate at the Age Concern Institute of Gerontology, King's College London, working closely with Professor Anthea Tinker on the very disparate topics of the mistreatment of older people, and older people's relationship to technology. Claudine retired in 2007.
Harry R. Moody, PhD, is Director of Academic Affairs at AARP in Wshington, DC. He edits a monthly e-newsletter, ‘Human Values in Aging’ and is the author of the textbook, Aging: Concepts and Controversies (Sage, 2009). He is completing another book The New Aging Enterprise.
Angela M. O'Rand is Professor of Sociology and Dean of Social Sciences at Duke University. She has been at Duke for over 30 years publishing research on life course processes related to education, family, work, pension acquisition, health and retirement. Her theoretical interests have focused primarily on cumulative processes of inequality, with a special interest in gender differences.[Page xvi]
Frank Oswald is Professor for Interdisciplinary Ageing Research at the Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. He was trained as a psychologist and received his PhD and habilitation in Psychology at the University of Heidelberg. His research interests are person-environment transaction, contexts of adult development, housing and relocation in old age. He was national project leader of the German part of the European study ENABLE-AGE on the relationships of housing and health. He is author/co-author of several articles in the area of Environmental Gerontology and Psychology and Chair of the Society for Social and Behavioural Sciences in Gerontology of the German Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
David R. Phillips has been Chair Professor of Social Policy in Hong Kong since 1997 and was founder director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. His research and teaching interests include social gerontology, health and welfare. He has published extensively on ageing, demographic, and socio-epidemiological issues in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere. Recent edited books include Ageing in the Asia-Pacific Region (Routledge, 2000), Ageing and Long-term Care - National Policies in the Asia-Pacific (ISEAS, 2002, edited with Alfred Chan), and Ageing and Place (Routledge, 2005, 2008, edited with Gavin Andrews).
Chris Phillipson is Professor of Applied Social Studies and Social Geronology at Keele University. He served as Pro-Vice Chancellor for the University (2005–09) and was also founding Director of the Centre for Social Gerontology (1986–97). He has led a number of research studies in the field of ageing concerned with family and community life in old age, problems of social exclusion, and issues relating to urbanisation and migration. His recent books include Ageing, Globalization and Inequality (Baywood, 2006) and The Futures of Old Age (Sage, 2006.)
Dana Rosenfeld is Senior Lecturer in Sociology, and a member of the Institute for Life Course Studies and of the Center for Social Gerontology at Keele University, UK. After receiving her PhD in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1999, she held a National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky. A qualitative sociologist, her interests include identity in historical and interactional context (The Changing of the Guard: Lesbian and Gay Elders, Identity, and Social Change, Temple University Press, 2003); gender and sexuality; and health, illness and disability, particularly the experience and interactional management of invisible illness and disability. Dr. Rosenfeld is the lead editor of Medicalized Masculinities (Temple University Press, 2006), and is currently researching adherence to medical regimens, the overlaps between illness and disability, and ageing and AIDS. She is on the editorial boards of Social Theory and Health and the Journal of Aging Studies.
Leslie Roth is currently a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at Duke University. Her dissertation involves archival research into how minorities are constructed as risks to society through moral discourse. She hopes to show that moral discourse surrounding African Americans and Mexican immigrants leads to legislation that helps maintain boundaries around race and class.
Marja Saarenheimo is a psychologist and works as a project leader in the Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged in Finland. Her earlier positions include the University of Tampere, where she worked in the Department of psychology and at the School of Public Health. She has also coordinated the Research programme on ageing in the Academy of Finland in co-operation with Professor Marja Jylhä. Her research interests include geropsychology, mental health in later life, family caregiving, psychotherapy with the elderly, and autobiographical memory. Moreover, she has given courses on narrative and discoursive methods in psychology and social sciences, co-operating with several universities in Finland.
Thomas Scharf is Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He was previously Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of the Centre for Social Gerontology at Keele University, United Kingdom. His research encompasses the fields of social gerontology, social policy and political science, with a particular focus on aspects of disadvantage faced by older people. Thomas Scharf's most recent book is Critical Perspectives on Ageing Societies (co-edited with Miriam Bernard; Policy Press, 2007).
James H. Schulz is Professor of Economics Emeritus, Brandeis University. Author of The Economics of Aging (7th edition) and co-author of Aging Nation: The Economics and Politics of Growing Older in America.[Page xvii]
Richard A. (Rick) Settersten, Jr. is Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University. Settersten received his PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University and held fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin, Germany and the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern. Before moving to OSU, he was Professor of Sociology at Case Western Reserve University. Settersten is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood and Public Policy. A sociologist of the life course, his research has especially focused the first and last few decades of adult life. He is the author or editor of On the Frontier of Adulthood, Invitation to the Life Course, and Lives in Time and Place, among other books and journal issues.
Merril Silverstein is Professor of Gerontology and Sociology at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on aging within the context of family life. Topics of interest include intergenerational social support, grandparent-grandchild relations, migration in later life, public policy toward caregivers, and international-comparative perspectives on aging families. He has authored over one-hundred publications, three-quarters of which appear in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Silverstein is principal investigator of the Longitudinal Study of Generations, a project that has tracked multigenerational families over four decades. He is also involved in funded research in China, Sweden, Israel, and the Netherlands. His research has been supported by grants from NIA, NICHD, NSF, Fogarty International Center, Binational Foundation, and AARP. He is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the Brookdale National Fellowship Program, and the Fulbright International Senior Scholars Program. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.
Philip Taylor, PhD, joined Monash University in 2010 as Director of Research and Graduate Studies at its Gippsland campus. Prior to this he was Professor of Employment Policy at Swinburne University of Technology where he directed the Business, Work and Ageing Centre for Research. He has researched and written in the field of age and the labour market for over 20 years. He is currently leading major programmes of research at Swinburne considering the management of ageing workforces, and involving extensive employer-based research. His interests include the management of labour supply, individual orientations to work and retirement, employers’ attitudes and practices towards older workers and international developments in public policies aimed at combating age barriers in the labour market and extending working life.
Leng Leng Thang is socio-cultural anthropologist with research interests on intergenerational programs, intergenerational relationships, aging and gender. Her field is Asia with a focus on Japan and Singapore. She serves on the editorial board of Journal of Intergenerational Relationships and is currently vice chair of International Consortium for Intergenerational Programs. She is Associate Professor and Head of Department of Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore.
Fleur Thomese is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at VU University Amsterdam. After receiving her PhD there at the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences, focusing on neighborhoods and networks of older adults, she further developed her interest in interactions between individual and societal change. A modernization perspective is proving useful for understanding recent changes in neighborhoods, personal networks, and their associations. She is also exploring the use of evolutionary theory for understanding the way different social and cultural settings shape grandparenting and its effects on fertility. She greatly enjoys the interdisciplinary and international work environment of social gerontology.
Peter Uhlenberg is Professor of Sociology and Fellow of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is former editor of Social Forces, Guest Editor of a forthcoming special issue of Journal of Aging and Health in honor of Charles Longino, and editor of International Handbook of Population Aging (2009). He was given the 2006 “Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award” by the Section on Aging and the Life Course of the American Sociological Association and is currently Chair of the section. He currently has 17 grandchildren.
Theo van Tilburg is Professor of Sociology and Social Gerontology at VU University Amsterdam. He is Director of the research program ‘Social Context of Aging’ and board member of the ‘Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam’, an ongoing interdisciplinary study into aspects of aging since 1991. He is editorial associate editor of Personal Relationships; and board member of International Journal of Ageing and Later Life; Journal of Social and Personal Relationships; Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. His research interests include the effects of personal network characteristics and social support on well-being [Page xviii]and health; life-course developments in personal networks, related to deteriorating health and role loss; societal developments in composition and function of families and personal networks; cross-national studies in loneliness, including the evaluation of interventions.
Christina Victor is Professor of Gerontology and Public Health in the School of Health Sciences and Social Care and Director of the Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) in the Graduate School at Brunel University. Christina's initial degree was in geography from Swansea University and she followed this with an M Phil from Nottingham. Her PhD was awarded by the Welsh National School of Medicine. Her major research interests are in social relationship in old age and later life, diversity and ageing and the use and evaluation of health services for older people. Christina has written over 180 journal articles and book chapters. Her books include The Social World of Older People, (with John Bond and Sasha Scambler-2009 Open University Press); Ageing in a Consumer Society (with Ian Jones, Paul Higgs, Richard Wiggins and Martyn Hyde, Policy Press, 2008), The Social Context of Ageing (Routledge, 2005), and Researching Ageing, (with Anne Jamieson Open University Press, 2002). Her latest book, Ageing, Health and Care is due to be published in 2010 by Policy Press.
Azrini Wahidin is a Reader in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Queen's University, Belfast and was the Programme Director for the undergraduate degree programme in Criminology in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work. She has also held positions at Keele and Kent Universities before taking up her post at Queen's. She received her PhD in Criminology and Gerontology from Keele University. Her research examined the experiences of the ageing female prison population in England and Wales and she has written extensively in the area of prisons and managing the needs of the ageing prison population. She is an Associate Visiting Professor at the Univesiti Malaya and Middle Tennessee State University. Her key publications are: Running Out of Time: Older Women in Prison, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Ageing, Crime and Society, Foucault and Ageing and Risk and Social Welfare.Hans-Werner Wahl received his PhD in psychology from the Free University of Berlin in 1989 and was from 1997 to 2005 Professor of Social and Environmental Gerontology at the German Centre for Research on Ageing at the University of Heidelberg. Since 2006, he is Professor of Psychological Aging Research at the Institute of Psychology, University of Heidelberg. His research interests include conceptual and empirical issues related to person-environment relations in later life, the management of age-related chronic conditions, and the understanding of the awareness of aging across the lifespan.
Alan Walker is Professor of Social Policy and Social Gerontology at the University of Sheffield, UK. He has been researching and writing on aspects of ageing and social policy for over 30 years. He is currently Director of the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme (http://www.newdynamics.group.shef.ac.uk/) funded by the AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC and MRC, and of the European Research Area in Ageing (http://www.shef.ac.uk/era-age/). Previously he directed the UK Growing Older Programme (http://www.shef.ac.uk/uni/projects/gop/index.htm) and the European Forum on Population Ageing (http://www.shef.ac.uk/ageingresearch). He also chaired the European Observatory on Ageing and Older People. In 2007 he was given Lifetime Achievement Awards by both the Social Policy Association and the British Society of Gerontology.
Steven P. Wallace, PhD, is professor at the UCLA School of Public Health, Vice-Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences, and Associate Director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Dr. Wallace is a leading scholar nationally in the area of aging in communities of color, having published widely on topics including access to long-term care by diverse elderly, disparities in the consequences of health policy changes on racial/ethnic minority elderly, and the politics of aging. Professor Wallace is Co-PI of the coordinating center for NIA's Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research, a past chair of the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association, is and PI of several projects that provide community-based training on how to use data to advocate for improving access to care for underserved populations in California.
Tony Warnes is Emeritus Professor of Social Gerontology at the Sheffield Institute for Studies of Ageing, University of Sheffield and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. From 1994 to 2000 he was Chair of the British Society of Gerontology, the association of social scientists with special interests in studies of older people, and he is Editor of Ageing & Society (Cambridge University Press). His long [Page xix]term research interests have been in the social demography of ageing societies, including health and social inequalities, and in improving care services for frail older people.
Peter J. Whitehouse, MD, PhD, (Psychology) is Professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University. He also holds or has held appointments in psychiatry, neuroscience, psychology, nursing, organizational behavior, cognitive science, bioethics, and history. He is evolving into an integrative narrative evolutionary health coach. His long-term interest is developing innovative clinical and learning environments to promote individual and collective health and wisdom. He is the author The Myth of Alzheimer's (St. Martin's Press, 2008).
Yi Zeng, PhD, is a Professor at the Center for Study of Aging and Human Development and Geriatric Division, Medical School of Duke University. He is also a Professor at China Center for Economic Research, National School of Development at Peking University, and Distinguished Research Scholar of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. His main research interests are healthy aging, population and family households dynamics and policy analysis. Up to Nov. 30, 2009, he has had 62 articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals in North America and Europe, and 63 articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals in China. He has published nineteen books; among them, eight books were written in English (including three by Springer Publisher and one by the University of Wisconsin Press).
Yun Zhou is Professor of Sociology at Peking University of China. She received her PhD in Socio-cultural Anthropology from Arizona State University in 1993 and has been teaching at Peking University since then. Her current research interests in the field of social gerontology include care-giving and care-receiving, gender and aging, as well as social policies for elderly. Professor Zhou published numerous articles on the related topics and is active in the field of aging studies.
The subject matter of the SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology deals with one of the most enduring and complex issues of human societies: namely, ageing and its social, economic, and cultural determinants. In the 21st Century, ageing has become one of the most challenging issues worldwide, as population ageing is becoming an increasingly visible reality in all societies, and is occurring in a context of globalizing economies and rapid technical and cultural change. These concerns are discussed in this handbook from the standpoint of social gerontology, defined here as the application of social science disciplines (e.g., demography, economics, social anthropology, and sociology) to the study and understanding of ageing individuals and ageing populations and the interrelation of each with social forces and social change. Social gerontology is itself linked to the broad study of ageing, or gerontology, a multi-disciplinary and (increasingly) interdisciplinary approach drawing upon the behavioural, natural, and social sciences.
In recent decades, the scope of social gerontology has been stretched in a number of significant ways. For example, although the discourse surrounding ageing is often equated with the decades of later life, leading thinkers in gerontology have long recognized that ageing is a lifelong process and a complete understanding of ageing encompasses the full life course. A second example concerns the social significance of age itself, which varies dramatically across social and historical contexts. In particular, the social institutions of late modernity have developed a particular reliance on age as an organizing principle of society, thus making it an enduring feature of social structures even if it is a constantly changing feature of individuals.
Given the above background, the invitation from SAGE to the editors to produce a Handbook focusing on social gerontology was an exciting, albeit challenging, prospect. The opportunity provided was to produce a volume that presented a systematic overview of major advances in social gerontology, drawing upon theoretical and empirical studies undertaken over the past two decades. This period has been of considerable importance to furthering our understanding of social aspects of ageing, with the growth of funded research, the expansion of national societies concerned with the study of ageing, and the pooling of research findings across a variety of international organizations.
Given the above developments, three main objectives were set for the SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology. First, a key concern was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the importance of ‘social’ aspects of ageing, in all its multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary guises. Here, we were struck by the continuing relevance of a point made by Malcolm Johnson (2005: 23) in an earlier handbook, that:
Despite the growing importance of research on the social features of life in the Third and Fourth Ages, which explore the positive potentialities of being an older person, these studies are overwhelmed by the sheer weight of inquiries about illnesses-physical and psychological-and the interventions which might ameliorate their consequences. An analysis of the hundreds of presentations at national and international conferences shows that programmes are little different in structure and balance of content from those of ten, twenty, or even thirty years ago.
Similarly, the dominance of medicalized and biologized approaches as explaining basic processes of ageing has tended to confine the ‘social’ to the ‘ageing-as-problem’ discourse-dealing with topics such as individual needs and attitudes at the micro-level, and at the macro-level, the economic and political implications of global population ageing. Yet evidence is mounting to demonstrate that at every social system level, from intimate dyads through work organizations to the state, social processes influence physiological as well as psychological processes of ageing.[Page xxii]
Secondly, part of this expansion in the social science literature has itself been driven by the internationalization of research into ageing, with the emergence of major research centres specializing in gerontology across all continents of the world. This itself reflects the nature of population ageing as a global phenomenon, one raising different, kinds of issues for social and cultural systems in, for example, Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Europe. In this context, a second objective of the SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology has been to illustrate the different challenges associated with ageing by drawing on examples from across a wide range of countries. The task set by the editors was to develop a handbook that demonstrated both the vitality of social science research and the variety of emerging perspectives, these reflecting the complexity and heterogeneity of the different economic and cultural settings in which research is produced. Of course, it has only been possible to draw upon a selection of societies and cultures. We have, however, wherever possible, invited contributors to draw in research from a wide range of countries to illustrate their arguments, and we believe this has added a valuable dimension to the volume.
Thirdly, although contributors to the book come from a range of perspectives within social gerontology, there are underlying themes and concerns running through the different chapters in the Handbook and these reflect important developments within the discipline. Over the period from the 1980s through to the 2000s, social gerontology began to embrace a variety of approaches, with important contributions from feminism, social history, political economy, and developmental psychology. In some cases, as Katz (2003: 16) observes, social gerontology began to draw upon areas that were-from the 1990s at least-losing ground in the rest of the social sciences (the influence of Marxism in the area known as critical gerontology being one such example). In other instances, researchers drew upon perspectives from beyond gerontology-the application of cultural studies to the field of ageing representing a case in point. At the same time, the underlying question for all social science approaches to ageing remained that of exploring the basis of social integration in later life, with contrasting points of emphasis around questions of self and identity, the influence of economic relationships, and the impact of social differences (or cumulative advantage and disadvantage) over the life course. Awareness of the impact of globalization also brought significant challenges to social gerontology, with many of its traditional concerns now debated within the context of global and trans-national settings.
As the above summary would suggest, social gerontology itself contains a vast array of themes and concerns, all of these reflecting and building upon the varied concerns of older people and the institutions to which they are linked. At the same time, a shared concern of all the contributors is to examine the way in which social processes are involved in shaping age and the life course, and which also create alternative conceptions and visions about the future of old age (Baars et al., 2006). In bringing together different strands of thinking, the SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology also demonstrates the distinctive contributions which social science can bring to the study of ageing. One illustration of this was provided by Matilda White Riley in her 1986 Presidential Address to the American Sociological Association, where she explored how her interest in the nature of ageing flowed from wider concerns with the impact of social and cultural change. She summarized the link between individual ageing on one side, and social change on the other, as follows:
In studying age, we not only bring people (women as well as men) … back into society, but recognise that both people and society undergo process and change. The aim is to understand each of the two dynamisms: (1) the aging of people in successive cohorts who grow up, grow old, die and are replaced by other people; and (2) the changes in society as people of different ages pass through the social institutions that are organized by age. The key to this understanding lies in the interdependence of aging and social change, as each transforms the other (Riley, 1987: 2).
Of course, this Handbook examines many complementary points to those raise by Riley, not least those concerned with issues of inequality and difference within cohorts, and the range of mechanisms-historical, economic, bio-social, and so on-that contribute to the social variations that are produced and reproduced in later life. But this idea of exploring the interconnections between ageing on one side, and social change (in all its manifestations) on the other side, provides the underlying pulse to many of the chapters in the handbook and is certainly a fundamental theme of social gerontology itself.
Finally, having set out the main objectives behind this handbook, we might just note how it relates to other such books within the field of ageing. Handbooks have themselves played an important role in providing reviews of sub-fields within the discipline. The first were devoted to surveying progress in gerontological research during the 1950s, and comprise Birren's (1959) Handbook of Aging and the[Page xxiii]Individual, Tibbitts's (1960) Handbook of Social Gerontology, and Burgess's (1960) Aging in Western Societies. In the 1970s, a new set of handbooks were developed. These have undergone regular revision and are presently in their 6th editions: Handbook of the Biology of Aging (Masoro and Austed, 2006), Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (Birren et al., 2006), and Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences (Binstock et al., 2006). At the same time more specialist handbooks were developed, such as the Handbook of the Humanities and Aging, edited by Cole et al. (1992), and the Handbook of Theories of Aging edited by Bengston et al. (2nd edn. 2009). Finally, The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing (Johnson, 2005) aimed to provide an overview both of literature from the social and behavioural sciences as well as an assessment of key developments in biomedicine.
We see this volume as providing a complementary resource to the more recent Handbooks listed above. This volume is the first since Tibbitts's 1960 volume to set out the full scope of social gerontology, a field that has expanded hugely since that time across the full range of the social sciences. The specially commissioned essays have been written by leading international experts in their respective fields. The volume is organized into five parts, each exploring different aspects of research into social aspects of ageing:
- Disciplinary overviews: the chapters in Section One aim to provide summaries of findings from key disciplinary areas within social gerontology, including demography, economics, epidemiology, environmental perspectives, history, social anthropology, and sociology.
- Social relationships and social differences: the chapters in Section Two explore the key social institutions and social structures influencing the lives of older people. Topics here include social inequality, gender, and ageing, the role of religion, inter-generational ties, social networks, and friendships in later life.
- Individual characteristics and change in later life: the chapters in Section Three examine different aspects of individual ageing, including self and identity, cognitive processes, the experience of time, age and wisdom, and also biosocial interactions and their impact on physical and psychological ageing.
- Comparative perspectives and cultural innovations: the chapters in Section Four review variations in the experience of growing old from a range of social and cultural standpoints within and beyond late modernity. Topics include ageing and development, ageing in a global context, migration, and cross-cultural perspectives on grandparenthood.
- Policy issues: Section Five, the final Section, examines some of the main policy concerns affecting older people across the world. Topics include developments in social policy, long-term care, technology and older people, end-of-life issues, work and retirement, crime and older people, and the politics of old age.
The SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology thus draws together a range of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on ageing. The editors are immensely grateful for the dedication and hard work of contributors. The handbook was conceived as an attempt to draw together a fresh assessment of findings relating to social, economic, and cultural aspects of growing old, drawing upon some of the best researchers and scholars working in the field. We hope that this volume goes some way both to confirming the strength of research in social gerontology as well as stimulating consideration of new areas for theoretical and empirical development.August 2009[Page xxiv]ReferencesBaars, J.Dannefer, D.Phillipson, C.Walker, A. (eds) (2006) Aging, Globalization and Inequality. Amityville, NY: Baywood.Bengston, V.L.Gans, D.Putney, N.M.Silverstein, M. (eds) (2009) Handbook of Theories of Aging. New York: Springer (1st edn. 1999).2006) (eds) Handbook of Aging and the Social Social Sciences. New York: Elsevier Academic Press (, , , and (1st edn. 1976).Birren, J. (ed.) (1959) Handbook of Aging and the Individual. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.2006) (eds) Handbook of the Psychology of Aging. New York: Elsevier Academic Press (, , , , and (1st edn. 1976).Cole, T.R.Van Tassel, D.D.Kastenbaum, R. (eds) (1992) Handbook of the Humanities and Aging. New York: Springer.Burgess, E. (ed.) (1960) Aging in Western Societies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Johnson, M. (ed.) (2005) in association with Bengston, V.L.Coleman, P.Kirkwood, T.The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.2003) ‘Critical gerontological theory: intellectual fieldwork and the nomadic life of ideas’, in S.BiggsA.LowensteinJ.Hendricks (eds), The Need for Theory: Critical Approaches to Social Gerontology. Amityville, NY: Baywood, pp. 15–31.(2006) (eds) Handbook of the Biology of Aging. New York: Elsevier Academic Press (1st edn. 1976)and (‘On the significance of age in sociology’, American Sociological Review, 52,1–14.(1987)Tibbitts, C. (ed.) (1960) Handbook of Social Gerontology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
This book is the product of dedicated work and deep collaboration, between many skilled and supportive colleagues - authors and editors, as well as critical readers and support staff. Without such collaboration, the volume would not have been possible to produce. We would like first to express our appreciation to the authors of these chapters, on whose cutting-edge expertise, careful scholarship the entire project rests. We would also like to thank those on both sides of the Atlantic, whose names are not so visible, but whose work has been critical, to the completion of this project. For work done in the USA, thanks go above all to Debra Klocker and also to Michelle Rizzuto in the Department of Sociology at CWRU. We also relied on the editorial expertise of Dale Dannefer's research assistants, Mary Ellen Stone, and Sherri Brown. For editorial work in the UK, many thanks to Sheila Allen, Sue Humphries and Jenny Liddle at Keele University, who provided substantial help and support. Finally, we are immensely grateful to Sage who have kept faith with the project and who have been consistently helpful and encouraging at all phases of the work.
Table 5.1 United Nations (2007) World Population Ageing 2007. Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. New York: United Nations. Reprinted with permission.
Table 5.2 United Nations (2007) World Population Ageing 2007. Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. New York: United Nations. Reprinted with permission.
Table 5.3 United Nations (2007) World Population Ageing 2007. Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. New York: United Nations. Reprinted with permission.
Table 5.8 United Nations (2005) The Living Arrangements of Older People Around the World. Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. New York: United Nations. (Available at http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/livingarrangement/covernote.pdf). Reprinted with permission.
Table 5.9 United Nations (2005) The Living Arrangements of Older People Around the World. Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. New York: United Nations. (Available at http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/livingarrangement/covernote.pdf). Reprinted with permission.
Table 5.10 United Nations (2005) The Living Arrangements of Older People Around the World. Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. New York: United Nations. (Available at http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/livingarrangement/covernote.pdf). Reprinted with permission.
Tables 15.1 United Nations (2002) World Population Aging 1950–2050. Department of Economics and Social Affairs, Population Division. Reprinted with permission.
Table 15.3 United Nations (2002) World Population Aging 1950–2050. Department of Economics and Social Affairs, Population Division. Reprinted with permission.