Sociological Analysis of Aging: The Gay Male Perspective / Edition 1

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Sociological Analysis of Aging: The Gay Male Perspective is an exploratory study of the life changes homosexual and bisexual men experience as they age. This unique book presents in-depth, qualitative interviews with gay men, aged 55 and older, focusing on their physical, mental, and social needs. More than one hundred men offer first-hand perceptions on the unique problems they face with regards to employment/retirement, housing, health and well-being, and relationships, and how they function within (or without) a social support system.

Sociological Analysis of Aging fills in the gaps in the existing social science literature on homosexuals and aging, updating findings that were inconclusive when first published and/or based on case studies or limited samples. While standard books on aging typically deal with the impact of life events such as child rearing, the empty nest syndrome, and grandparenting, Sociological Analysis of Aging deals with the unique realities that gay men face in addition to the universal concerns of the elderly: affordable health care, affordable housing, and adequate coverage for medication costs. The study examines what can be done to assist “successful” aging for sexual minorities, particularly in the areas of social policy, service delivery, and public tolerance.

Sociological Analysis of Aging focuses on specific research questions:

  • Do aging gay men consider themselves to be physically healthy?
  • Do aging gay men suffer from depression?
  • Do aging gay men have access to social support networks?
  • What are the housing needs of the aging gay community—present and future?
  • How involved are aging gay men with family, friends, church, and community?
In addition, the men interviewed were asked what, if anything, was left on a “to-do” list; what the best and worst aspects of aging are; and what, if anything, they would change about the course their lives had taken. Their answers make Sociological Analysis of Aging: The Gay Male Perspective an essential resource for therapists, counselors, and social workers, and for academics working in sociology, psychology, gerontology, and gay studies.
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Editorial Reviews

Bertram J. Cohler
IMPORTANT READING for those concerned with social policy as well as those studying sexuality and the life course. . . . Contradicts assumptions that older gay men might have particular needs apart from other groups of older adults. Cruz supports his study with a careful and nuanced discussion of the literature on the well-being and social needs of older gay men.
PhD, William Rainey Harper Professor, The Committee on Human Development and the Departments of Psychology, The University of Chicago
Janet Pacatte
REQUIRED READING FOR STUDENTS AND PRACTITIONERS IN THE AGING FIELD. As I read Dr. Cruz's research and observations on the gay male perspective on the aging process, I was struck by how many of us in the field have intentionally or unintentionally overlooked this growing phenomenon. The interviews with gay men across the State of Texas are enlightening—especially the sections on mental and psychological health and housing.
MS, Director, Area Agency on Aging, United Way of Metropolitan Tarrant County, Texas
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560234548
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 138
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Purpose
  • Research Problem
  • Rationale
  • Research Questions
  • Geographic Settings
  • Focus of This Research
  • Summary
  • Chapter 2. Literature Review
  • Gay Aging
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Social Support/Relationships/Involvement
  • Housing
  • Theoretical Base
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3. Methodology
  • Research Questions
  • Definitions
  • Research Participants
  • Data Collection
  • Data Processing and Analysis
  • Protection of Participants
  • Summary
  • Chapter 4. Findings
  • Respondent Characteristics
  • Social Support, Relationships, and Involvement of Respondents
  • Housing
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Employment Characteristics
  • Some Closing Thoughts
  • Summary
  • Chapter 5. Discussion and Conclusion
  • Social Support/Relationships/Involvement
  • Housing
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Thematic Findings and Theoretical Implications
  • Study Limitations
  • Future Research
  • Summary
  • Appendix A. Respondent Characteristics by City (Percentages)
  • Appendix B. Research Instruments
  • The Sociology of Aging: Questionnaire
  • Aging Gay Male Interview Guide (1-028)
  • Aging Gay Male Interview Guide (1-045)
  • References
  • Index
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