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Fighting poverty, inequality and injusticeA manifesto inspired by Peter Townsend$
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Alan Walker, Adrian Sinfield, and Carol Walker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427151

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427151.001.0001

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Towards a new sociology of ageing: from structured dependency to critical gerontology

Towards a new sociology of ageing: from structured dependency to critical gerontology

Chapter:
(p.193) ten Towards a new sociology of ageing: from structured dependency to critical gerontology
Source:
Fighting poverty, inequality and injustice
Author(s):

Chris Phillipson

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847427151.003.0010

This chapter assesses Peter's role as the founder in the UK of the sociology of ageing and his influence on the development of critical gerontology. It notes that the article published in the first issue of Ageing and Society in 1981 represented a systematic attempt to provide a new theoretical framework for the study of ageing. It notes that Peter sought to shift the debate from individual approaches to the social processes that led to the structured dependency of people in later life. It then goes on to consider three major issues for structured dependency theory and critical gerontology more generally: the transformation of retirement; the impact of privatisation and deregulation; and finally, the influence of globalisation. It makes a powerful case for a break with the past and for research and policy on older people to be central to wider debates within social policy, sociology and political science, in the overall.

Keywords:   sociology of ageing, critical gerontology, Ageing and Society, social processes, structured dependency theory, retirement, privatisation and deregulation, globalization, older people

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