Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Social class in later lifePower, identity and lifestyle$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Marvin Formosa and Paul Higgs

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300588

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300588.001.0001

Show Summary Details



(p.1) One Introduction
Social class in later life

Marvin Formosa

Paul Higgs

Policy Press

Social class is a critical factor influencing how people experience later life, and, in particular, the quality of lives they lead. Nevertheless, the sociology of class is firmly located in, and around, the younger and adult ‘territories’ of the life course. Although lip-service is frequently paid to ‘age’ as one of a number of bases of stratification, older people remain excluded from sociological studies of class. When necessary, the class position of older persons is commonly located through their final occupations before retirement. Whilst this strategy may have been valid in the past when most individuals died either before or soon after statutory retirement age, nowadays it is surely limiting to assume that the class career terminates with the onset of retirement, considering that the latter normally signals the start a phase of life characterised by increasing levels of leisure participation and identity reframing. There is no doubt that the expansion of critical gerontology to encompass globalisation, the de-institutionalisation of the life course, and the emergence of a consumer-driven are all highly welcome. Yet, the significance of class in retirement is still a topic that needs addressing.

Keywords:   social class, third age, critical gerontology, retirement, inequality

Policy Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.