Aging has emerged as a major and urgent issue for individuals, organisations and governments of our time.

In this well-timed and comprehensive handbook, key international contributors to the field of study come together to create a definitive map of the subject. Framed by an authoritative introductory chapter, the SAGE Handbook of Aging, Work and Society offers a critical overview of the most significant themes and topics, with discussions of current research, theoretical controversies and emerging issues, divided into sections covering:

Key Issues and Challenges; The Aging Workforce; Managing an Aging Workforce; Living in an Aging Society; Developing Public Policy

The Social Connections of Older Europeans

The social connections of older Europeans
MartinKohli and HaraldKünemund

Introduction1

Social connections operate at different levels. There are connections between individuals and society at large, for example, feelings of attachment to and participation in communities and nation-states. There are connections within organizations, from firms, unions, parties or churches to clubs, associations or self-organized initiatives. And there are connections at the interpersonal level: communications among family members, friends, neighbours or colleagues – face-to-face, by phone, mail or e-mail or in virtual social networks on the internet – and the exchanges of services and support that go along with them.

As societies age, increasing numbers and proportions of older people may be in need of such support. On the other hand, the elderly may also ...

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