By Sarah Harper
Routledge – 2005 – 224 pages
Demographic ageing is a reality - within 25 years half the population of Western Europe will be over 50, one quarter over 65, and the Less Developed Countries will contain one billion elderly people. Ageing Societies examines the myths, challenges and opportunities behind these figures.
Ageing Societies explores three areas:
Â§ the growing necessity for extending economic activity into later life and the implications of societal ageing for the intergenerational contract and the provision of social security
Â§ the changes in modern families and the implications the changes have for the provision of support and care for the ageing population
Â§ the biggest demographic challenge of all: ageing in the Less Developed Countries where there is little or no infrastructure to provide long-term care or social security.
Combining bio-demography, sociology, economics and development studies, Ageing Societies highlights the opportunities of an ageing population for a mature society. Age-integrated and flexible workforces, increased labour mobility, intergenerational integration, age equality and politically stable age-integrated societies are the potential benefits of a demography which will be with us for the majority of this century.
'Ageing Societies …is clearly written, wide-ranging and very well referenced.'
This is a timely book, which in many ways provides the answer to those looking for a broad overview of the social, economic and policy consequences of demographic aging … It must have been a considerable task to put together such a broad coverage, and Sarah Harper is to be congratulated … In terms of readership, this book will be of considerable use to undergraduate students of gerontology and related policy areas. It is also likely to be a source book and a stimulus for researchers in a range of disciplines. Supplemented with regional texts on ageing and by other global overviews, I can foresee using this book regularly for my social gerontology courses.
1. Ageing societies
2. The dynamics of population ageing
3. Understanding age and ageing
4. Retirement: from rest to reward to right
5. Intergenerational contract and social security
6. Changing families
7. Intergenerational relationships and family care
8. Providing economic security in less developed countries
9. Supporting families and elder care in less developed countries
10. Equal treatment, equal rights: ending age discrimination
11. Mature societies: planning for our future selves
Sarah Harper is Director of the Oxford Institute of Ageing at the University of Oxford, UK. She has taught and studied issues of demography and societal ageing in China, Scandinavia, Australia and the USA, and was Professor in public policy at the University of Chicago, USA.