Gerontology in the Era of the Third Age: Implications and Next Steps

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Springer Publishing Company, Feb 22, 2011 - Psychology - 288 pages
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The "third age" is described as the period in the life course that occurs after retirement but prior to the onset of disability, revealing a period in which individuals have the capacity to remain actively engaged. This book serves as a comprehensive discussion about how the emergence of the third age has changed the way we think about and examine traditional frameworks regarding aging issues and the life course. It introduces the discussion of the unique challenges and opportunities that older adults face while moving through this early phase of later life, proposing new frameworks, concepts, and methods to re-examine later life in the context of the era of the third age.

This book proposes new ways of thinking about how we conceptualize the life course, think about the role of the welfare state in the lives of older people, negotiate social roles in later life, make meaning of our lives as we age, and cultivate relationships with others during later life. It brings together theoretical concepts and frameworks, methodological advances, and emerging themes and controversies that are redefining gerontology in the era of the Third Age. Highlighting important issues that warrant further exploration and discussion, this book advances our understanding of the Third Age and focuses attention on critical issues that should be addressed in future Third Age research and scholarly development.

Key Features:

  • Includes up-to-date description and analysis of the third age as a concept, life phase, and social status
  • Addresses multiple perspectives to illustrate the impact of the third age on the way we examine later life
  • Uses disciplinary perspectives such as social policy, demography, gerontology, sociology, social work, anthropology, and social psychology
  • Examines mechanisms that stratify the older population in the context of the third age

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
A LifeCourse Approach to the Third Age
13
The Third Age as a Cultural Field
33
The Political Economy of the Third Age
51
Refining the Framework
67
Demographic Approaches and Their Potential Application in Third Age Research
89
The Third Age as a SocioDemographic Variable for CrossCountry Comparisons
107
A Method for Exploring Everyday Life in the Third Age
127
The Perspective of Qualitative Inquiry
147
From Retirement to Productive Aging and Back to Work Again
169
Challenges and Opportunities for Relationships in the Era of the Third Age
189
Relevance of Social Capital and Lifestyle for the Third Age
207
A Critical Perspective on the Third Age
225
Afterword
245
Index
261
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