Later Life : The Realities of Aging book cover
6th Edition

Later Life
The Realities of Aging

ISBN 9780131951587
Published December 1, 2005 by Routledge
432 Pages

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Book Description

An interdisciplinary introduction to the aging process which uses symbolic interactionism as the main theoretical perspective. Accessible, interdisciplinary coverage with chapters covering a variety of subject matter areas from biology to psychology, from economics to sociology, from political science to religion. Utilizes symbolic interaction perspective to explain behavior problems and an individual's adaptations associated with the process of aging.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Emergence and Scope of Gerontology  1. The Advent of Gerontology  1.1. Demographic Trends  1.2. Conclusion  2. Problems, Public Perception, and Stereotypes of Older Americans  2.1. The Problems of Aging  2.2. Public Perceptions of Older Persons  2.3. Misconceptions  2.4. Conclusion  3. Theoretical Perspectives on Aging  3.1. Theory and Research  3.2. Disengagement Theory  3.3. Activity Theory  3.4. Human Development Theories  3.5. Continuity Theory  3.6. Age Stratification Theory  3.7. Older Americans as a Minority Group  3.8. Aging as an Exchange  3.9. The Symbolic Interaction Perspective  3.10. Labeling Theory  3.11. Evaluating Theories of Aging  3.12. Conclusion  4. Historical and Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Aging  4.1. Introduction  4.2. Demographic Transition and the Aging of the World's Population  4.3. Modernization and Aging  4.4. Criticism of the Modernization Theory  4.5. Critical Variables Determining the Status of the Aged  4.6. Theoretical Views on the Changing Status of the Elderly  4.7. Roles and Status of the Aged in Three Cultures  4.8. Conclusion  Part II: The Individual and the Social System  5. Biological and Health Correlates of Aging  5.1. Introduction  5.2. Age-Related Changes in Human Physiology  5.3. Major Causes of Illness and Death in Old Age  5.4. Biological Theories of Aging  5.5. Psychological and Sociological Aspects of Illness  5.6. Holistic Health Care  5.7. Exercise and Aging  5.8. Conclusion  6. Psychological Changes in Later Life  6.1. Introduction  6.2. Psychological and Performance Changes  6.3. Personality  6.4. Stability and Change in Personality  6.5. Self-Esteem  6.6. Adjustment to Aging  6.7. Stress  6.8. Conclusion  7. Age Norms, Age Constraints, and Adult Socialization Life Space  7.1. Role  7.2. Age Synchronization  7.3. Normative Constraints  7.4. Attitudes toward Old Age  7.5. Social Class and Adjustment to Old Age  7.6. Age, Gender, and Longevity  7.7. Conclusion  8. Aging Minority Group Members  8.1. Demographic Characteristics  8.2. Social Aspects of Aging  8.3. Service Needs  8.4. Subcultural and Value Disparities between the Dominant Group and Minority Groups  8.5. The Asian American   8.6. Native Americans  8.7. Conclusion  Part III: Adjustment Patterns and Changing Lifestyles in Old Age  9. Family Patterns in Later Life  9.1. Changing Roles and the Aging Family  9.2. Husband-Wife Relations  9.3. Intergenerational Relations  9.4. Grandparenthood  9.5. Widowhood  9.6. Alternative Lifestyles  9.7. Second Marriages  9.8. Conclusion  10. Work, Leisure, and Retirement Patterns  10.1. Introduction  10.2. Work  10.3. Free Time  10.4. Leisure  10.5. Retirement  10.6. Conclusion  11. Living Environments in Later Life Residential Segregation of the Aged  11.1. Design and Environmental Factors in Senior Housing  11.2. Housing and Community Choices of Older Americans  11.3. Housing Costs  11.4. Sociability  11.5. Institutionalization  11.6. The Eden Alternative  11.7. Conclusion  12. Death and Dying The Impact of Death on Society  12.1. Attitudes toward Death  12.2. The Meaning of Death  12.3. Critical Questions about Death  12.4. Adjustments to Dying  12.5. Grief  12.6. Conclusion  Part IV: Societal Issues Confronting Older Americans  13. The Economics of Aging  13.1. Economic Needs of Older Americans  13.2. Income  13.3. Poverty  13.4. Sources of Income  13.5. Effects of Inflation  13.6. Conclusion  14. Exploitation of the Aged: Crimes, confidence games, and frauds fear of crime  14.1. Victimization by Crime  14.2. The Older Person's Response to Victimization  14.3. Confidence Games and Frauds  14.4. Abuse of the Elderly  14.5. Conclusion  15. Politics of Aging Political Participation  15.1. Intergenerational Conflict or Consensus  15.2. Status Inconsistency  15.3. Age and Political Conservatism  15.4. Conclusion  16. Social Services for Older Americans  16.1. Social Services for Older Americans  16.2. Future Directions of Service Programs for the Aged  16.3. Conclusion  17. Religion and Aging  17.1. Introduction  17.2. Church Attendance  17.3. Belief in God  17.4. Belief in Immortality  17.5. Orthodox Religion  17.6. Religious Ritualism and Private Devotionalism  17.7. Religiosity and Life Satisfaction  17.8. The Role of the Aged in the Church  17.9. Conclusion  18. Aging and the Aged: Future Prospects and Issues  18.1. Gerontology: The future of the discipline  18.2. Theories of Aging  18.3. Health  18.4. Retirement Income  18.5. Family  18.6. Residential Location  18.7. Postindustrial Society  18.8. Values  18.9. Work and Leisure  18.10. Power  18.11. Death  18.12. Government Services  18.13. Conclusion

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Harold G. Cox is a professor of sociology at the University of Indiana, USA