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.

Work and Retirement

Work and retirement
HaraldKünemund and FranzKolland


Retirement is a relatively new social phenomenon. Formal retirement programmes may be traced back to the late seventeenth century – the first pension systems became effective in the military and church sectors (Ehmer, 1990), but these were exceptional. Until the development of public welfare schemes in the second half of the twentieth century, older people seldom had a chance to retire from work, and in most cases that meant being dependent on family support or individual savings, namely children, or the farm. The development of retirement as a separate period of life, however, is mainly a result of social security systems that provide adequate income for older people, allowing for withdrawal from the labour force. It was only ...

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