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Unmasking ageThe significance of age for social research$
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Bill Bytheway

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847426185

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847426185.001.0001

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The ageing population

The ageing population

(p.163) Eight The ageing population
Unmasking age

Bill Bytheway

Policy Press

The crisis over the ageing population is often discussed with reference to the concept of ‘inter-generational equity’, and this debate explicitly links age and generation. Age is a key variable in demographic and epidemiological research, and large surveys of populations have revealed strong statistical relationships between age and many other variables. To illustrate how age is ‘controlled for’, this chapter describes the use of age-specific mortality rates in the analysis of cancer statistics. One reason for concern over an ageing population is the implication that the costs of providing care will increase. Here, the author presents a case study of one old person whose daily life is intricately tied in with the provision of such services. The chapter also explained how bureaucratic responses to the ageing population can both sustain and constrain the lives of older people.

Keywords:   ageing population, generation, age, cancer, epidemiological research, care

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