Aging, Globalization, and Inequality: The New Critical Gerontology

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Jan Baars
Baywood Pub., 2006 - Social Science - 291 pages
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This book is a major reassessment of work in the field of critical gerontology, providing a comprehensive survey of issues by a team of contributors drawn from Europe and North America. The book focuses on the variety of ways in which age and ageing are socially constructed, and the extent to which growing old is being transformed through processes associated with globalisation. The collection offers a range of alternative views and visions about the nature of social ageing, making a major contribution to theory-building within the discipline of gerontology. The different sections of the book give an overview of the key issues and concerns underlying the development of critical gerontology. These include: first, the impact of globalisation and of multinational organizations and agencies on the lives of older people; second, the factors contributing to the "social construction" of later life; and third, issues associated with diversity and inequality in old age, arising through the effects of cumulative advantage and disadvantage over the life course. These different themes are analysed using a variety of theoretical perspectives drawn from sociology, social policy, political science, and social anthropology. "Aging, Globalization and Inequality" brings together key contributors to critical perspectives on aging and is unique in the range of themes and concerns covered in a single volume. The study moves forward an important area of debate in studies of aging, and thus provides the basis for a new type of critical gerontology relevant to the twenty-first century.

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About the author (2006)

ABOUT THE EDITORS Jan Baars, Ph.D., studied sociology and philosophy in Amsterdam and is Professor of Interpretive Gerontology at the University for Humanistics in Utrecht and Professor of Philosophy of the Social Sciences and the Humanities at Tilburg University, Netherlands. He has published and (co-)edited a dozen books and published many articles on philosophical and gerontological subjects in English, German, French, Finnish, and Dutch. His main interests are theoretical and practical presuppositions in approaches to aging, especially conceptions of time and temporality. He has lectured at many universities in Europe and the United States and chaired gerontological symposia in Australia, the United States, and Japan.Dale Dannefer's scholarly work is concerned with the links between social dynamics and life course processes. A pioneer in developing cumulative advantage theory as an explanatory life-course framework, he has published more than 60 articles, monographs, and chapters in sociology, psychology, human development, education, and gerontology. Dannefer's current scholarship focuses on the effects of globalization on life course patterns and the problem of age segregation. He has just completed a large-scale empirical study of "culture change" in long-term care settings. He teaches courses on life course and human development, the sociology of work and education, and social theory. He has been a research fellow in the Social Control program at Yale University, at the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California, and at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin.Chris Phillipson is Professor of Applied Social Studies and Social Gerontology at the University of Keele, United Kingdom; he is also Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning and Academic Development) for the University. He has published extensively in the field of critical gerontology and related areas, and is currently undertaking research on issues relating to social exclusion in old age and the impact of urbanization on the lives of older people. His books include Reconstructing Old Age; The Family and Community Life of Older People (co-authored) and Women in Transition: A Study of the Experiences of Bangladeshi Women Living in Tower Hamlets (co-authored).Alan Walker is Professor of Social Policy at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, and is Director of The European Research Area in Ageing. Previously he was Director of the Economic and Social Research Council's Growing Older Programme and the European Forum on Population Ageing Research. He is co-founder and chair of the European Foundation on Social Quality. Walker was a member of the Technical Committee responsible for drafting the 2002 U.N. Plan of Action on Ageing, and he chaired the European Commission's Observatory on Ageing and Older People. He has been researching and writing on aging, social policy, and related issues for nearly 30 years and has published more than 20 books and 300 scientific papers. Recent books include The New Generational Contract; Ageing Europe; Combating Age Barriers in Employment; The Politics of Old Age in Europe; and Growing Older: Quality of Life in Old Age.

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