The SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology


This volume reflects the emergence of ageing as a global concern, including chapters by international scholars from Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America. It provides a comprehensive overview of key trends and issues in the field, drawing upon the full range of social science disciplines.

The Handbook is organized into five parts, each exploring different aspects of research into social aspects of ageing:

  • Disciplinary overviews: summaries of findings from key disciplinary areas within social gerontology
  • Social relationships and social differences: topics include: social inequality, gender and ageing, the role of religion, inter-generational ties, social networks, and friendships in later life.
  • Individual characteristics and change in later life: chapters in this section examine different aspects of individual aging, including self and identity, cognitive processes, and biosocial interactions and their impact on physical and psychological aging.
  • Comparative perspectives and cultural innovations: topics in this section include: ageing and development, ageing in a global context, migration, and cross-cultural perspectives on grandparenthood.
  • Policy issues: The final section examines some of the main policy concerns affecting older people across the world. Topics include: developments in social policy, long-term care, technology and older people, end of life issues, work and retirement, crime and older people, and the politics of old age.

This will be essential reading for all students, researchers and policy-makers concerned with the major issues influencing the lives of older people across the globe.

“This SAGE Handbook integrates basic research on social dimensions of aging. It presents programmatic applications of research in areas not often seen in Handbooks including imprisonment, technology and aging, urban society aged, and elderly migration. The authors constitute a ‘Who’s Who’ of international gerontology, and the focus on globalization and aging is unique among Handbooks today. This Handbook should be in the library of every social gerontologist” — Vern L. Bengtson, University of Southern California

Table of Contents

Section One: Fundamental and Disciplinary Perspectives on Ageing  
The Study of the Life Course: Implications for Social Gerontology Dale Dannefer and Richard A. Settersten, Jr.
Past as Prologue: Toward a Global History of Ageing W. Andrew Achenbaum
The Economics of Ageing James H. Schulz
Social Anthropology and Ageing Christine L. Fry
The Demography of Ageing Christina Victor
Epidemiology of Ageing Dawn Alley and Eileen Crimmins
Disability and Ageing: The Social Construction of Causality Jessica Kelley-Moore
Environmental Perspectives on Ageing Hans-Werner Wahl and Frank Oswald
Section Two: Ageing and Social Structure  
Age and Inequality in Global Context Angela M. O’Rand, Katelin Isaacs, and Leslie Roth
Gender and Ageing in the Context of Globalization Toni Calasanti
Ageing and Health among Hispanics/Latinos in the Americas Kyriakos Markides, Jennifer Salinas, and Rebecca Wong
Religion and Age Peter G. Coleman
Intergenerational Relationships of International Migrants in Developed Nations: The United States and France Merril Silverstein and Claudine Attias-Donfut
Family and Age in a Global Perspective Ariela Lowenstein and Ruth Katz
Intergenerational Relations: Asian Perspectives Leng Leng Thang
Societal Dynamics in Personal Networks Theo van Tilburg and Fleur Thomése
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Ageing: Shattering Myths, Capturing Lives Dana Rosenfeld
Friendship and Ageing Graham Allan
Section Three: Ageing and Individual Change  
Age, Self and Identity in the Global Century Jon Hendricks
Social Structure, Cognition and Ageing Duane F. Alwin
Stress and Agentic Ageing: A Targeted Adaptation Model Focused on Cancer Eva Kahana and Boaz Kahana
Agency and Social Structure in Ageing in Life Course Research Victor W. Marshall and Philippa J. Clarke
Age, Experience and the Beginning of Wisdom Monika Ardelt
Loneliness and Ageing: Comparative Perspectives Marja Jylh� and Marja Saarenheimo
Biosocial Interactions in the Construction of Late Life Health Status Kathryn Z. Douthit and Andre Marquis
Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment in Social and Cultural Context Danny George and Peter Whitehouse
Socio-cultural Perspectives on Ageing Bodies Stephen Katz
Time and Ageing: Enduring and Emerging Issues Jan Baars
Section Four: Ageing, Culture and Development  
Ageing and International Development Peter Lloyd-Sherlock
Migration and Age Tony Warnes
Global Ageing: Perspectives from Sub-Saharan Africa Isabella Aboderin
Population Ageing and Old Age Insurance in China Zeng Yi and Linda K. George
Ageing in a Global Context: the Asia-Pacific Region David R Phillips, Alfred C.M. Chan, and Sheung-Tak Cheng
The Significance of Grandparents to Grandchildren: An International Perspective Peter Uhlenberg and Michelle Cheuk
A Social View on Healthy Ageing: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives and Australian Evidence Kendig, H. and Browning, C.
Social Dimensions of Anti-Ageing Science and Medicine Robert H. Binstock and Jennifer R. Fishman
The New Ageing Enterprise Harry R. Moody
Section Five: Ageing and Social Policy  
Social Policies for Ageing Societies: Perspectives from Europe Thomas Scharf
Globalization, Social Policy and Ageing: A North American Perspective Carroll L. Estes and Steven P. Wallace
Social Policies for Ageing Societies: Australasian Perspectives Michael Fine and Sally Keeling
Cross National Trends in Work and Retirement Philip Taylor
Continuous and Long-Term Care: European Perspectives Caroline Glendinning
Long-term Care in China and Japan Yun Zhou and Yuzhi Liu
Ageing and Quality of Life in Europe Alan Walker
Later Life and Imprisonment Azrini Wahidin and Ronald H. Aday
Ageing and Urban Society: Growing Old in the ‘Century of the City’ Chris Phillipson
Technology and Older People Claudine McCreadie
End of Life Issues Liz Lloyd
Ethics and Old Age: The Second Generation Martha Holstein
The Politics of Ageing Susan A. MacManus with the assistance of Andrea L. Polk and David J. Bonanza