Researching Ageing and Later Life: The Practice of Social Gerontology

Researching Ageing and Later Life: The Practice of Social Gerontology

Researching Ageing and Later Life: The Practice of Social Gerontology

Researching Ageing and Later Life: The Practice of Social Gerontology

Synopsis

The changing demographic profiles of modern societies have led to a growing interest in understanding ageing and later life among those working within the social sciences and humanities. This edited volume addresses the methodological challenges entailed in studying the process of ageing and life course changes, as well as the experience of being old. The book focuses on the theory and practice of doing research, using a wide range of examples and case studies. The contributors, who are prominent researchers in the field, review the range of practices in the use of different methodologies and give in-depth examples, based on their own research experience. The book covers a variety of disciplines and methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative, and a diversity of sources, including fiction, photographs, as well as the traditional social science sources. Researching Ageing and Later Life will be essential reading for those wishing for an insight into the realities of doing research in this area.

Excerpt

Anne Jamieson Christina Victor

Social gerontology is a diverse and heterogeneous academic activity that includes researchers from a broad variety of disciplines. As this book illustrates, not only are the range of questions posed by gerontology extensive, but the range of methods and data sources used to answer them are equally diverse. This book represents the result of collaboration between the editors and the British Society of Gerontology to develop a volume to complement the well-established book on research methods in social gerontology edited by Sheila Peace (1990). In combination these two volumes demonstrate the breadth and diversity of social gerontology in Britain. Our aim, in producing this book, was to update some of the aspects of research where there have been significant changes and to reflect the major methodological innovations that have taken place in the past two decades.

The audience for this book is broad, including researchers and students of gerontology from a variety of different ‘home’ disciplines and at various stages of development. The chapters are written in a ‘practical how-to’ style, pointing out the potential of different sources and methodologies. Each chapter provides practical examples of the use of the source/method and reference is made to relevant sources. An appendix lists a wide range of useful websites. As well as being stimulating it is intended that researchers will find this a useful addition to more theoretically focused research methods textbooks.

The book is in four parts. Part I introduces the field of social gerontology, its institutional and theoretical base. The second chapter sets the scene for the reader by discussing the different sources and methods which are . . .

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