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Price: $62.95

Paperback 256 pp.
14 figures; 3 tables; 8 photos, 6" x 9"



Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

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Sociological Perspectives on Aging

Laura Funk

Series: Themes in Canadian Sociology

This concise introduction to the study of aging challenges students to think critically about key topics in the field such as the aging of populations in Canada and around the world, the status of aging peoples and ageism, and the social participation of older adults.

Readership : Sociological Perspectives on Aging is a core and supplemental text intended for sociology of aging courses offered out of sociology departments at universities and colleges.


  • "This book is well written, clear, easy to understand, and student friendly. Interesting topics related to aging are covered and linked back to sociology."
    --Linda T. Caissie, St. Thomas University

  • "I appreciate how this book identifies evidence-based approaches for improving the lives of older adults through policy and practice."
    --Nancy-Angel Doetzel, Mount Royal University

Note: Every chapter includes:
- Learning Objectives
- Introduction
- Conclusion
- Questions for Critical Thought
- Suggested Readings
- Suggested Websites
1. Choices and Constraints in Aging: Theoretical Approaches and Sociological Contributions
A Sociological Perspective: Examining Social Structure and Aging
Inequality, Stratification, and Exclusion in the Sociological Study of Aging
An Overview of Dominant Theoretical Positions in Sociology
The Effects of Societal Industrialization: Theories of Disengagement, Exchange and Modernization
- The Disengagement of Older Adults
- Exchange Theory and Aging
- Modernization and the Status of Older Persons
Increasing Attention to Time and Social Context: Generation and Cohort, Age Stratifiction, and the Life Course Perspective
- Age Stratification Theory
- Life Course Perspective
Social Constructionism
Political Economy, Feminism and Critical Gerontology
Aging in Postmodern Society
2. Population Aging, Ageism, and Intergenerational Relations
Population Aging in Demographic, Global and Historical perspective
The Concept of Apocalyptic Demography and Myths of Population Aging
Conceptualizing Ageism
Sociological Perspectives to Explaining Ageism in Canadian Society
- Social Psychological Theories of Socialization
- Modernization Theory and Social Change
- Critical Gerontology and Political Economy
From Ageism to Age Relations
Intergenerational Relations: From Families to Cohorts and Generations
3. The Aging Body, Biomedicalization, and Life Extension
Cultural Ageism, Individual Body Image, and Beauty Work
Embodiment and Aging: Toward a Postmodern Understanding of Bodies
Embodiment and Aging: Contributions of Symbolic Interactionism
The Biomedicalization of Aging as a Disease
Life Extension: A Sociological Perspective
- The "Anti-Aging" Movement
- Societal Implications of Prolongevity
4. Health Systems and Care for Older Persons
The Social Determinants of Health
The Canadian Health Care System: Backgrounder
Self, Informal and Formal Care: Distinctions
Home Care in Canada
- Experiences: Older Persons, Their Families, and Paid Care Providers
Residential Care in Canada
- Experiences: Older Persons, Their Families, and Paid Care Providers
Voluntary Providers of Care for Older Persons
5. The Economic Security of Older Persons in a Changing World
Canada's Retirement Income System
Older Workers
Retirement as a Social Institution: Changes over Time
Retirement Timing Decisions
Diversity and Flexibility in Retirement: Destandardization of the Life Course
Financial Security in Old Age and Retirement
Economic Insecurity: Older Groups at Risk
Economic Security Across the Life Course: Examining Income Inequality in Older Cohorts
6. Beyond Participation: The Social Inclusion of Older Adults
Social Participation and Well-Being
Age, Social Participation, and Integration
Barriers to Participation: A Focus on Social Inclusion
- Exclusion from Meaningful Social Relations
- Exclusion from Material Resources
- Exclusion from Civic Activities or Civil Society (Including Political Engagement)
- Exclusion from Basic Services
- Geographic or Spatial Exclusion
- Cultural Exclusion
- The Social Exclusion of Gay and Lesbian Older Adults
- The Social Exclusion of Older Immigrants
Interventions and Broader Solutions
7. The Family Lives of Older Persons: Implications of Change
Sources and Types of Family Change
Emerging Trends in Late-Life Family and Intimate Relationships
- Late-Life Stepfamilies
- Living Apart Together Relationships
- Long-Distance and Transnational Older Families
Exchanges of Support to and from Older Persons in Families
- Grandparenting
- Older Persons' Needs for Family Support: Root Factors
- Family Support for Older Persons: Myths about the Past and Present
- Families' Capacities to Support Older Persons: Root Factors and Implications
- Changing Expectations of Family Responsibility?
8. Emerging and Salient Topics in the Sociology of Aging
Indigenous Elders
Social Change and Aging
- Globalization and Social Change
- Aging and Human Rights
Individual Agency and the Sociology of Aging
Spotlight on Sociological Research on Aging in Canada

E-Book (ISBN 9780199008339)

Laura Funk is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. Prior to this, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research at the University of Victoria. She is a research affiliate with the Centre on Aging at both the University of Manitoba and University of Victoria, and with Riverview Health Centre (Winnipeg). Sociological Perspectives on Aging is her first book.

Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Aging as a Social Process - Andrew V. Wister and Barry D. McPherson

Special Features

  • Promotes critical reflection on key topics in the sociology of aging in Canada such as the societal implications of prolongevity; intergenerational conflict; and aging and human rights.
  • Coverage of embodiment and aging highlights how we experience age within and through our physical bodies, and how we actively shape our subjective interpretations of our bodies. (Chapter 3)
  • Concise introduction to the subject - part of the well-regarded Themes in Canadian Sociology series, known for its clear and concise approach to current research and trends in the discipline.
  • Current research and perspectives provide students with an up-to-date look at the field of aging.
  • Canadian examples and cases make this a relevant resource for students studying aging in this country.