The Third Edition of this popular and widely-used text provides a comprehensive introduction to the study of aging, exploring the key behavioral and social science theories, concepts, and methods.
This new edition of Ageing in Society has been extensively rewritten and reflects new trends in European gerontology, incorporating recent developments in theory and research from international and interdisciplinary perspectives. The book is in two sections. In the first, contributors provide an overview of key issues in the study of biological, psychological, and social aging. The second section critically examines interdisciplinary perspectives on health, social protection, work and retirement, social relations, environments, cultural images of aging, cognitive aging, and the management of individual lifestyles.
Ageing in Society was developed by the British Society of Gerontology to fulfill the need for an authoritative introduction to social gerontology. As such, it is an ideal resource for students and lecturers in the social and behavioral sciences throughout the UK and Europe, as well as for students and practitioners in health and social care.
Chapter 2: The Biology of Ageing
The Biology of Ageing
Although human ageing has many dimensions, at its heart it is a biological process that we share with a very broad range of animal species. If we are to understand ageing we must therefore comprehend at least the broad principles of its biology, since these provide the fundamental matrix upon which social and other factors are based. There is a particular importance in addressing the biology of ageing now, at a time when many preconceptions about the ageing process, such as that it is an essentially fixed, ineluctable part of our biological make-up, are being challenged. This challenge is coming from two directions. First, the continuing increases in life expectancy (Oeppen and ...