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Title: Ageing

Author: Chris Phillipson

Publisher: Polity Press

Reviewer: Carol Singleton, Queen’s Nurse, North Tyneside

What was it like?

The key question covered by this book is “how can social science contribute in helping us to think about the possibilities and potential behind the development of ageing populations?”

Presented in a clear, well thought out, logical manner this book takes the reader through the numerous issues and debates faced by ageing populations and the consequences to the rest of society.

What were the highlights? 

Written by a sociologist, one of our most prominent authorities on ageing, this book provides a comprehensive and insightful overview of the key debates in the field.

Strengths & weaknesses:

There are three main sections, firstly “Demographic and Social Dimensions of Ageing”, secondly “Inequalities and Divisions in Later Life” and thirdly “New Pathways for Later Life”. The first section sets out the context for understanding ageing populations while the second reviews examples of changes affecting this population and the third examines proposals for change in a number of key areas, including work, education and social relationships.

There is a comprehensive index allowing you to search under either author or subject.

The references are listed in alphabetical order at the back of the book by author, with a mixture of articles, books and publications from organisations such as the Alzheimer’s Society, The Gerontologist, Welfare Reform and the Department for Work and Pensions. Personally I prefer references to be listed at the end of each chapter so that you don’t have to stop what you are reading to find the reference or note that you need to find it at a later date.

There is a short section on “Notes”. Not all of the chapters have notes and it seems to provide further explanations of terms e.g. pensions or median age or where to find further information on a subject.

Who should read it?

People interested in social science, students and scholars working in sociology, social policy and wider social science disciplines and the humanities.



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