1st Edition

Sociological Analysis of Aging
The Gay Male Perspective





ISBN 9781560234548
Published October 23, 2003 by Routledge
126 Pages

USD $57.95

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Book Description

Sociological Analysis of Aging: The Gay Male Perspective is an exploratory study of the life changes homosexual and bisexual men experience as they age. This unique book presents in-depth, qualitative interviews with gay men, aged 55 and older, focusing on their physical, mental, and social needs. More than one hundred men offer first-hand perceptions on the unique problems they face with regards to employment/retirement, housing, health and well-being, and relationships, and how they function within (or without) a social support system.

Sociological Analysis of Aging fills in the gaps in the existing social science literature on homosexuals and aging, updating findings that were inconclusive when first published and/or based on case studies or limited samples. While standard books on aging typically deal with the impact of life events such as child rearing, the empty nest syndrome, and grandparenting, Sociological Analysis of Aging deals with the unique realities that gay men face in addition to the universal concerns of the elderly: affordable health care, affordable housing, and adequate coverage for medication costs. The study examines what can be done to assist “successful” aging for sexual minorities, particularly in the areas of social policy, service delivery, and public tolerance.

Sociological Analysis of Aging focuses on specific research questions:

  • Do aging gay men consider themselves to be physically healthy?
  • Do aging gay men suffer from depression?
  • Do aging gay men have access to social support networks?
  • What are the housing needs of the aging gay community—present and future?
  • How involved are aging gay men with family, friends, church, and community?
In addition, the men interviewed were asked what, if anything, was left on a “to-do” list; what the best and worst aspects of aging are; and what, if anything, they would change about the course their lives had taken. Their answers make Sociological Analysis of Aging: The Gay Male Perspective an essential resource for therapists, counselors, and social workers, and for academics working in sociology, psychology, gerontology, and gay studies.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Purpose
  • Research Problem
  • Rationale
  • Research Questions
  • Geographic Settings
  • Focus of This Research
  • Summary
  • Chapter 2. Literature Review
  • Gay Aging
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Social Support/Relationships/Involvement
  • Housing
  • Theoretical Base
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3. Methodology
  • Research Questions
  • Definitions
  • Research Participants
  • Data Collection
  • Data Processing and Analysis
  • Protection of Participants
  • Summary
  • Chapter 4. Findings
  • Respondent Characteristics
  • Social Support, Relationships, and Involvement of Respondents
  • Housing
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Employment Characteristics
  • Some Closing Thoughts
  • Summary
  • Chapter 5. Discussion and Conclusion
  • Social Support/Relationships/Involvement
  • Housing
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Thematic Findings and Theoretical Implications
  • Study Limitations
  • Future Research
  • Summary
  • Appendix A. Respondent Characteristics by City (Percentages)
  • Appendix B. Research Instruments
  • The Sociology of Aging: Questionnaire
  • Aging Gay Male Interview Guide (1-028)
  • Aging Gay Male Interview Guide (1-045)
  • References
  • Index

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