By John A Vincent, Chris Phillipson, Murna Downs

Ready through the British Society of Gerontology, The Futures of previous Age brings jointly twenty-one major united kingdom and US gerontologists, drawing on their services and study. The book's seven sections care for key modern issues, together with inhabitants getting older, families and households, healthiness, wealth, pensions, migration, inequalities, gender, and self and identification in later lifestyles. The Futures of outdated Age is thought-provoking studying for somebody learning getting older, specially for these attending classes in gerontology and comparable parts, in addition to for these interested by the advance of social and fiscal coverage.

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Accompanying this debate is a perceived weakening of intergenerational bonds of obligations and exchanges, and indeed concern about the structure and vitality of kinship FUTURE ‘ CONFLICTS ’ ? units themselves. Is the family eroding as a social institution? Will families be able to cope with eldercare demands, for example, in the future? These debates reflect shifts in the demographic, economic and political conditions of the past two decades, and perhaps a neoconservative cultural backlash against the liberalizing social and normative trends of the 1960s and 1970s.

Yet ironically population ageing has swayed voting power away from Generation X to their parents, whose numbers and electoral turnout have both been considerably higher. However, the grey vote remains highly fragmented and far from being simply 15 THE FUTURES OF OLD AGE self-interested, many, unsurprisingly, have their children’s and grandchildren’s interests at heart. This would question the conflict thesis. The academics’ dilemma Turner defines a generation as ‘a cohort of persons passing through time who come to share a common habitus and lifestyle’.

Foner (2000) proposes that while it is possible that age-group conflicts may negate trends toward age integration, it is more likely that the opposite will occur: age integration will offset tendencies toward age-group conflicts. Despite predictions of such conflicts in recent years, these have not occurred; young and middle-aged adults have not challenged policies and benefits for elders. Further, there are signs that age barriers are loosening. There are mechanisms within the family related to bonds of affection and exchanges that promote age integration in the larger society, and these micro-level processes are the reason why ‘age wars’ have not erupted over the growing economic burden on young people, who pay taxes to support the social-welfare programmes benefiting the older cohorts.

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