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Social Gerontology

Concepts and Concerns in the U.S. and Europe

Anne Jamieson

Two recent publications, one American (Minkler and Estes, 1999) and one European (Arber and Attias-Donfut, 2000), provide a good opportunity to reflect on some of the issues and challenges in current social gerontology. Social gerontology is an area of study concerned with ageing and age-related social issues. Its strengths are its multidisciplinarity and the imaginative ways in which it successfully combines a range of perspectives and approaches in exploring the processes and experience of ageing. Within this broad field are widely different interests and concerns, and indeed differences of opinion as to what gerontology should be about. Whether such differences are clear-cut and perhaps even constitute ‘schools of thought’ is debatable. Judging from the discussion by the editors of Critical Gerontology: Perspectives from Political and Moral Economy, critical gerontology constitutes a field or enterprise, which appears as distinct from mainstream gerontology (Minkler and Estes, 1999).

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Sandra S. Butler and Adrienne L. Cohen

This article presents two independent studies examining the experiences of older adults aging in rural environments in the United States. In face-to-face interviews, study participants (n = 66 in study 1 and n = 8 in study 2) were asked what they like about aging in a rural area and what they found challenging. Interview transcripts were analyzed for recurring themes in each study and striking similarities were found with regard to the importance of nature or “aesthetic capital” to the well-being of the study participants. Primary themes emerging from study 1 data included peace, safety, beauty, space, and interacting with nature. The themes emerging from the second study included the world outside the window, traveling around by car, and longing for natural beauty. A negative theme that emerged from both studies related to the dearth of health and social services in rural areas. Implications of the studies' findings with regard to the value of nature in the lives of elders are discussed in relation to practice, policy, and planning.

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What Am I StIll Doing Here?

Travel, Travel Writing, and Old Age

Robin Jarvis

living. A different, perhaps more cynical, perspective on the older traveler might be drawn from social gerontology. The concept of the Third Age, as theorized by Peter Laslett and others, posits a post-retirement life stage characterized by personal

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Henglien Lisa Chen and David Orr

and hands-on tech care) alongside theoretical and conceptual analysis and discussion (co-designed technology with older people and the process of normalisation and system-level change in home telehealth). This part, for this gerontological social work

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Home and Away

Place Appreciation and Purposeful Relocation in Later Life

Neil Thin

and draw significance from the landscapes in which they live’ ( 1996: 205 ). In a more recent collection of essays on rural ageing, a combination of ‘human ecology’ with ‘critical gerontology’ is proposed as a way of ensuring that planners go beyond

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Singing with Dignity

Adding Social Quality to Organization Studies on Aging

Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil

. “ Implications of Selective Optimization with Compensation on the Physical, Formal and Informal Leisure Patterns of Adults .” Indian Journal of Gerontology 20 ( 1–2 ): 51 – 66 . Jermier , J. 1998 . “ Introduction: Critical Perspectives on Organizational

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The GIPA Concept ‘Lost in Transition’

The Case of Expert Clients in Swaziland

Thandeka Dlamini-Simelane

-Cultural Gerontology 17 , no. 1 : 3 – 31 . Van Roey , J. ( 1999 ), ‘ From Principle to Practice: Greater Involvement of People Living with or Affected by HIV/AIDS ’ ( Geneva : UNAIDS ). World Health Organization ( 2006 ), ‘ Taking Stock: Health Worker Shortages

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Johanna Gehmacher, Svetla Baloutzova, Orlin Sabev, Nezihe Bilhan, Tsvetelin Stepanov, Evgenia Kalinova, Zorana Antonijevic, Alexandra Ghit, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Ana Luleva, Barbara Klich-Kluczewska, Courtney Doucette, Katarzyna Stańczak-Wiślicz, Valentina Mitkova, Vjollca Krasniqi, Pepka Boyadjieva, Marina Hughson and Rayna Gavrilova

, thus, is meant to be the main source of narrative on which the ten contributors to the volume, working in the fields of gerontology, anthropology, psychiatry, psychology, and sociology, attempt to reveal the role of religion in the lives of a particular