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Rethinking Old Age


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Table of Contents

1. The Idea of a Fourth Age.- 2. The Shadow of Long-term Care.- 3. Demographic and Epidemiological Aspects of the Fourth Age.- 4. Frailty and the Fourth Age.- 5. Abjection and the Fourth Age.- 6. Care and the Moral Identity of the Fourth Age.- 7. Bridges and Barriers between the Third and the Fourth Age.- 8. Fashioning a Future for Fourth Age Studies.

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"A powerful and original analysis of the fourth age as a category which eludes the clinical diagnoses and categories of social care that seek to capture it. It has relevance well beyond sociology of ageing and social gerontology." - Susan Pickard, Reader in Sociology, University of Liverpool, UK "Higgs and Gilleard bring clarity to a long-neglected and misunderstood issue in social gerontology. I know of no other books that shed such light on the fourth age or that address the issue of frailty from such a sophisticated standpoint." - Markus Schafer, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto, Canada

About the Author

Paul Higgs is Professor of Sociology of the Ageing in the Division of Psychiatry at University College London, UK, and Chris Gilleard is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Division of Psychiatry at University College London, UK. Both are internationally recognised social theorists of ageing and old age whose previous books include Cultures of Ageing (2000), Contexts of Ageing (2005) and Ageing, Corporeality and Embodiment (2013).


"The authors of this interesting new book discuss a new separating out of the final stage before death: The Fourth Age. ... the authors also discuss the inter-relationship between the old person and his/her nearest, carers and society as a whole. ... This book rewards readers, young and old, who would understand the moral imperative of displaying humanity by a sense of compassion." (Michael Costello, Third Age Matters, www.U3A.org.uk, Issue 24, 2016)

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