Research into ageing and later life has tended to describe old age in relation to society's problems concerning health and social care. Today demographic changes, current advancements in technology, and political and socio-cultural developments also affect the living conditions of both young and old people. This exceptional volume draws together scholars from Europe and the USA to inspire and encourage new research approaches. Taking old people's own ideas, experiences and opinions as the starting point for studies of the ageing process, the contributors regard old age as an equally important and varied stage of the life cycle. The volume considers the humanistic-historical dimension of ageing and substantiates new perspectives on family roles and intergenerational relationships. It also examines age discrimination, the impact of the increase in early retirement, the effect of old and new technology on older people's lives, different ageing experiences of men and women, and how to emphasize old people's own interpretation and understanding of the ageing process.
Contents: Some implications of population ageing for societies and individuals, Sarah Harper; Analysing age discrimination, John Macnicol; The constructs of generation and cohort in sociological studies of ageing: theoretical conceptualizations and some empirical implications, Gunhild Hammarström; Age, ageing and the life course, Anna-Liisa Närvänen; Old women's ailments in the light of history, Birgitta Od Researching home help services for the elderly in Japan and Sweden: how cultural concepts affect the research design, Els-Marie Anbäcken; The sense of self in Alzheimer's disease: the person's perspective, Phyllis Braudy Harris; The social construction of older women's identities and institutional intervention, Isabella Paoletti; Old people, new and old artefacts - technology for later life, Jan-Erik Hagberg; Biographical and strategic issues in research about ageing, Kees Knipscheer; Index.