Transitions and the lifecourse
Challenging the constructions of 'growing old'
- Amanda Grenier
- Paperback, 256 pages, 240 x 172 mm
- 31 Jan 2012
- Ageing and the Lifecourse series
£21.59 - List price: £26.99 You save: £5.40
North America customers can order this book here from the University of Chicago Press.
"This slender volume provides a succinct and readable introduction to some of the key debates in critical gerontology and would therefore be a useful purchase for any students interested in learning about experiences of growing older."
Sue Davies, Journal of Ageing and Society
"The book offers an independent and sometimes radical voice as it combines a review of theory, policy and practice."
- Canon James Woodward
"Grenier challenges assumptions that underlay most gerontology theories, policies and services, concluding that models of successful ageing deny the reality of physical decline that shapes the experiences of all who survive into late old age. This book is a must read for those concerned with the implications of global ageing."
Sheila M. Neysmith, Associate Dean of Research, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Professor & RBC Chair in Applied Social Work Research, University of Toronto
About This Book
Transitions and the life course: Challenging the constructions of 'growing old' explores and challenges dominant interpretations of transitions as they relate to ageing and the life course. It takes a unique perspective that draws together ideas about late life as expressed in social policy and socio-cultural constructs of age with lived experience. The book is aimed at academics and students interested in social gerontology, policy studies in health and social care, and older people's accounts of experience.
Author BiographyAmanda Grenier is Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Aging and Society at McMaster University, Canada. She holds the Gilbrea Chair on Aging and Mental Health, and is Director of the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging. She is also affiliated with the Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology at the CSSS Cavendish, the McGill School of Social Work, and is Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute for Life Course Studies at Keele University. Her research focuses on the intersections of policy, organisational practice and lived experience in relation to ageing, frailty and care.
Part One: The context of growing old: The study of transition in late life
Critical perspectives on ageing and the lifecourse
Multidisciplinary approaches to transition
The intersections of policy, practice, and experience
Socio-cultural constructs of late life
Part Two: Contested models of ageing and late life: Narratives of transition on ageing and late life
Social location and 'othered' constructs of age
The fourth age: impairment in late life
ReviewsOwn it? Review it!
Transitions and the Lifecourse
Transitions and the Lifecourse is a carefully-crafted consideration of a large topic - how we understand later life transitions, as citizens, scholars and students. Its critical approach questions commonplace assumptions about ageing and later life in institutional and policy frameworks, social discourses on ageing, and the lived experiences of older people.
The book's ten chapters are organised into two parts. Part One considers the context of growing old. The first chapter scopes the wide terrain of the book's concern. It reviews the study of transitions, and sets out the book's argument that a critical reconsideration of transitions in later life is needed, located at the intersection of theory, policy and practice. Chapter two outlines the book's theoretical bases, and offers well-balanced critiques of the lifecourse perspective and critical gerontology. Chapter three contextualises the study of transition, drawing on work in social anthropology, sociology, psychology and gerontology. Chapter forwards the case for a study of transitions that considers the interplay of lived experiences, policy frameworks and socio-cultural responses to growing old. Chapter five explores strands of social and policy discourses that shape understanding and representations of ageing.
Part Two of the book considers contested models of ageing and later life. Chapter six includes accounts from some older people of their journeys through life transitions. Chapter seven discusses alternative fluid and flexible interpretations of transitions; chapter eight explores how differences rooted in social class, race, poverty and sexuality can affect the experience of transitions and later life. Chapter nine considers the impact of ill-health and impairment on lived experiences of ageing. The final chapter calls for new understandings of transitions that reflect the diverse, structured and lived experiences of people.
Transitions and the Lifecourse is a well written, carefully-researched book that convincingly challenges many taken-for-granted assumptions about transitions in later life. It is a very strong volume that deserves to be read by academics and students in gerontology, policy studies and, more generally, health and social care.,,
Reviewed by Angie Ash
Transitions and the lifecourse
An excellent overview of current thinking on transitions and life course across disciplines. An insightful account of the intersections of individual meaning and societal factors which produce frames of reference for us to make sense of the ageing process. But above all the book provides an excellent basis from which to create a better old age for future generations.
Reviewed by Friederike Ziegler PhD
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