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 · Social relationships and social differences: topics include social inequality, gender, religion, inter-generational ties, social networks, and friendships in later life. · Individual characteristics and change in later life: examining different aspects of individual aging, including self and identity, cognitive processes, and biosocial interactions and their impact on physical and psychological aging · Comparative perspectives and cultural innovations: topics include ageing and development, ageing in a global context, migration, and cross-cultural perspectives on grandparenthood · Policy issues: 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. It will be essential reading for all students, researchers and policy-makers concerned with the major issues influencing the lives of older people across the globe.

Loneliness and Ageing: Comparative Perspectives

Loneliness and Ageing: Comparative Perspectives

Loneliness and ageing: Comparative perspectives


Social relationships, and their structures and meanings, comprise some of the major issues in social gerontology. This chapter discusses one dimension in this field, that of loneliness. The concept of loneliness is closely linked with themes such as family life, social integration, quality of life, and life satisfaction. This chapter examines the experience of loneliness, with particular attention given to issues of theory, measurement, and comparisons across different societies. The chapter reviews a number of important questions:

  • To what extent does loneliness belong to old age?
  • To what extent is loneliness similar for young and older people?
  • To what degree do the conditions and forms of loneliness vary according to different cultural environments?

The chapter assesses a number of approaches ...

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