Aging, Society, and the Life Course, Fourth Edition / Edition 4

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Doody's Score: 91, 4 Stars

This is a comprehensive textbook for both undergraduate and graduate level courses, detailing the impact of societal forces on the aging process. The book focuses on the diversity of the older population, examining it from micro/macro perspectives in order to understand aging and the life course as social phenomena.

This latest edition examines significant changes in the field of social gerontology, such as the paradigms of aging and the life course, the baby boomer cohorts as they approach retirement and later life, the growing interest in global aging, and civic engagement. This text encourages students to examine aging from personal, familial, community, societal and global perspectives, including both the positive and negative realities of aging.

Key Features:

  • Provides websites of interest at the end of each chapter
  • Presents provocative essays on love, sex, music, medicine, and crime to further expand on chapter contents
  • Provides review questions and key terms as study guides at the end of each chapter
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes how society impacts the aging process, taking both a micro and macro perspective to better understand how people negotiate the various age-related stages. The previous edition was published in 2006.
Purpose: According to the authors, "our original and continued purpose in writing this book has been to provide a new type of textbook on the social aspects of human aging — one that is neither encyclopedic in its coverage of research findings nor overly weighted down with jargon."
Audience: It is intended for both undergraduate and graduate courses. Leslie A. Morgan is associate dean at the Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, and Suzanne R. Kunkel is the director of Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University.
Features: The book begins with a discussion of physical aging, psychological aging, and social aging (social meaning). The authors also discuss population aging through population pyramids (age/sex structure), dependency ratios, and aging index. Much time is spent describing aging within a social context, especially in the family. How people deal with work and retirement is an important issue, though many are finding the need to work until they are much older. Global aging is an important topic, and the book explores this issue in China, Germany, and Kenya. Finally, the book discusses the baby boomer generation and how they are aging, as well as policy issues in the future. The chapters are organized fairly uniformly with text, summary, Web Wise (relevant websites), key terms, and questions for thought and discussion. Wonderful exhibits help clarify the text, as do the "applying theory" shaded boxes. Particularly helpful are the "Questions for Thought and Discussion" at the end of each chapter.
Assessment: The book is easy to read and will pique the interest of undergraduates. Professors can easily have the class read through this book in one quarter or semester. The fourth edition was necessary to incorporate new material and updates because there has been a great deal of research in the intervening five years.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826119377
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 578,470
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie A. Morgan, Ph.D. is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Doctoral Program in Gerontology at UMBC. An affiliate of the Center for Aging Studies, she has authored or co-authored five books and over 30 journal articles on topics relating to family, seniors housing, economics and gender. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Suzanne R. Kunkel, PhD is the director of Scripps Gerontology Center and Professor in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Dr. Kunkel has 20 years of experience in research and teaching in gerontology and is the recipient of the 2006 Outstanding Gerontology Educator Award.

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Read an Excerpt


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Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Aging and Society

Chapter 2: Studying Aging

Chapter 3: An Aging World: Demographic Perspectives

Chapter 4: The Aging Individual in Social Context

Chapter 5: Aging and the Family: Personal and Institutional Contexts

Chapter 6: Work and Retirement in the Life Course

Chapter 7: Economics and the Aging of Society

Chapter 8: Aging and Health: Individuals, Institutions, and Policies

Chapter 9: Politics, Government, and Aging in America

Chapter 10: Global Aging

Chapter 11: Baby Boomers and the Changing Landscape of Aging

Chapter 12: The Dynamics of Aging in Our Future



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