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.

Sociocultural Perspectives on Ageing Bodies

Sociocultural Perspectives on Ageing Bodies

Sociocultural perspectives on ageing bodies


All research in gerontology begins with the body. In both its physical and social aspects, the body is the foundational ground of gerontological knowledge and its associated health and service professions. As Mike Hepworth remarks, ‘if the body did not age there would literally be no gerontological story to write or read’ (2000: 9). Historically, the body became the material resource for scientific discovery about old age. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, medical geriatricians such as Jean-Martin Charcot, Elie Metchnikoff, and Ignatz Nascher transformed the aged body into a separable senile form of life encompassing new scientific truths about ageing. As Charcot stated in the introduction to his seminal work, Clinical Lectures on ...

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