This provocative, intellectually charged treatise serves as a concise introduction to social gerontology, examining multiple dimensions of persistent and hotly debated topics around age, aging, the life course, and the roles of power, politics, culture, economics, and communications. Critical perspectives are presented as definitions for reader understanding, with links to concepts of identity, knowledge construction, social networks, social movements, and inequalities. With today’s intensifying concentration of wealth and corporatization, precarity is the fate for growing numbers of the world’s population. Intersectionality as an analytic concept offers new appreciation of how aging relates to the advantages of race, ethnicity, class, ability, and gender, and how social advantage and disadvantage accumulates.
The book’s entries offer a bibliographic compendium, crediting the salience of early-pioneering theorists and locating these within the cutting-edge of research (social, behavioral, policy, and gene-environment sciences) that currently advances our understandings of human development, trauma, and resilience. Accompanying these foundations are theories of resistance for advancing human rights and the dignity of marginalized populations.
Monumental in scope, painstaking in detail, penetrating in depth and really accessible in style, this is the book to refer to for anyone interested in what aging means for society, and how much more it could mean if radically new policies were introduced by governments. Written with an enthralling vibrancy and heartfelt dedication to critical analysis, Estes and DiCarlo have performed a near miraculous feat in crafting the essential source for both newcomers to the ageing field and more experienced hands. Congratulations to them both. I could not recommend this book more strongly.
Alan Walker, Professor of Social Policy & Social Gerontology, University of Sheffield (UK)
The authors provide an unusual and welcomed project to infuse critical sociology and political economy to the study of gerontology. The encyclopedic entries are well written (and fun) to read. Highly creative, refreshing, and compelling.
Teresa Ghilarducci, New School for Social Research, and coauthor of Rescuing Retirement: A Plan to Guarantee Retirement Security for All Americans
Whatever depth of knowledge and expertise one already possesses, and whatever perspective one brings to the study and understanding of aging, it can be guaranteed that every reader will find much that is new and provocative in Aging A-Z. For scholars, policymakers and others interested in the future possibilities of age and aging, this book’s breadth and the extensive range of concepts is both challenging and inspiring.
Dale Dannefer, Selah Chamberlain Professor of Sociology, Case Western Reserve University
II. Why Aging A-Z now?
III. Critical Concepts
V. Appendix (Online Only)