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Author, Fred C. Pompel, treats age as a component of social inequality which gives rise to the three major themes of the text: diversity in the experience of individuals, differences in public policy, and variations across nations. Comparison of the United States with other nations is a central component of the book, providing a greater understanding of the larger forces that shape old age.

Public Policy in Old Age
Public policy in old age

IN THE WALTONS, A POPULAR TELEVISION SHOW still appearing on cable reruns, an extended family lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia during the difficult years of the Great Depression in the 1930s. The father runs the family logging and lumber business, with the grandfather and the older children helping during busy times. The mother runs the household of 10 and manages the difficult tasks of feeding and clothing them all, with help from the grandmother and children. Supported fully by the family business, the grandfather and grandmother enjoy partial retirement, but they also contribute to caring for the children and share closely in family concerns and discussions. Even a stroke experienced by the grandmother ...

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