Aging & the Life Course: Social & Cultural Contexts provides an accessible, up-to-date introduction to the study of aging and the life course from a distinctly sociological perspective. It explores the sociocultural dimensions of aging while encouraging critical thinking about the diversity of aging experiences, societal attitudes toward older adults, the politics and economics of growing old, and end-of-life resources. Throughout, the text emphasizes the relevance of the material for working with older populations, understanding social policy and policy debates, improving communities, relating to others, and understanding ourselves.
Deborah Lowry is associate professor of sociology in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Montevallo, where she teaches a variety of courses including aging and the life course, social problems, introductory sociology, and contemporary Chinese society. Prior to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Michigan's Population Studies Center, she earned a PhD from Michigan State University with research that investigated lived experiences of aging in a rural Chinese context.
Section I: Foundational Concepts
Chapter 1: Global Contexts of Aging: A Sociological Perspective
Chapter 2: Sociological Imagination and the Life Course
Chapter 3: The Social Construction of Age, Aging, and Life Stages
Section II: Experiences of Later-Life
Chapter 4: Sociocultural Contexts of Ageism
Chapter 5: Sociocultural Contexts of Later-Life Health & Well-Being
Chapter 6: Later-Life Differences & Inequalities: At the Intersections
Section III: Contemporary Conditions of Aging
Chapter 7: Work and the Sociology of Retirement
Chapter 8: Social Connection, Marriage, and Intimacy in Later Life
Chapter 9: Later-Life Families, Caregiving, & Intergenerational Exchanges
Section IV: Aging and Social Change
Chapter 10: Generations, Conflict, and Societal Change
Chapter 11: Aging, Place, and Built Environments
Chapter 12: End-of-Life and the Future of Aging
Dr Lowry has created an important resource for students interested in the field of aging. All readers, whatever their chosen career path, will find much to stimulate their thinking in this book. It accurately captures the complexities of growing older, as well as helps us think more clearly about important issues in Gerontology.
Aging and the Life Course: Social and Cultural Contexts brings the sociology of aging and the life course to students in an accessible way—highlighting how experiences of aging reflect the broader culture and society. Deeply sociological, this text provides readers with an overview of the theories used by aging and life course scholars and applies them in a way that will connect to students’ everyday lives. This text will help students grow their sociological imagination and emphasize that aging is a dynamic process that unfolds across the entire life course. This text allows the reader to question their own assumptions about aging and covers a wide-range of topics within the field of sociology of aging and the life course.
-Key terms and concepts