Policy Press

Critical perspectives on ageing societies

Edited by Miriam Bernard and Thomas Scharf


May 16, 2007

Page count

200 pages

Browse the series

Ageing and the Lifecourse




240 x 172 mm


Policy Press
Critical perspectives on ageing societies

This important book brings together some of the best known international scholars working within a critical gerontology perspective. Together, they review and update our understanding of how the field has developed over the last twenty-five years and, through the lens of 'passionate scholarship', provide a challenging assessment of the complex practical and ethical issues facing older people, and those who conduct research on ageing, in the 21st century. 

The contributions extend the critical gerontological approach conceptually, methodologically and practically. They offer close and scholarly analysis of policies affecting the lives of older people and provide insights into why research is done in particular ways. Special attention is paid to feminist contributions and new approaches to working in partnership with older people; age discrimination and ageism; the impact of neo-liberal policies and the passage of various human rights instruments; the re-medicalisation of later life; the participation of older people in research; and justice between generations. The editors and contributors offer suggestions for promoting change, and an exciting set of visions and perspectives for the renewal and development of critical gerontology in the years ahead.

"Critical Perspectives on Ageing Societies" will be a valuable resource for all students, academics and practitioners interested in ageing and the life course.

"This valuable and timely collection adds substantially to the critical gerontology literature by assessing progress, renewing the committed scholarship that provided the original impetus behind this approach and by ensuring that the voices of older people are at centre stage in its analyses." Alan Walker, University of Sheffield

“Ties together so many of the germane problems of our time, particularly the long-term consequences of living under successive neoliberal regimes that have intensified the insecurities, inequalities and vulnerabilities of growing older.” Canadian Journal on Aging

Miriam Bernard is Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of the Research Institute for Life Course Studies at Keele University.

Thomas Scharf is Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of the Centre for Social Gerontology at Keele University.

Critical perspectives on ageing societies ~ Miriam Bernard and Thomas Scharf; Critical gerontology: reflections for the 21st century ~ Martha B. Holstein and Meredith Minkler; Using human rights to defeat ageism: dealing with policy-induced 'structured dependency' ~ Peter Townsend; The remedicalisation of later life ~ Robin Means; Narratives as agents of social change: a new direction for narrative gerontologists ~ Ruth E. Ray; Redressing the balance? The participation of older people in research ~ Mo Ray; Revisiting The Last Refuge: present day methodological challenges ~ Julia Johnson, Sheena Rolph and Randall Smith; The road to an age-inclusive society ~ Bill Bytheway, Richard Ward, Caroline Holland and Sheila Peace; Justice between generations: the recent history of an idea ~ Harry R. Moody; Progress in gerontology: where are we going now? ~ Tony Warnes and Judith Phillips.