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The Need for Theory

The "Need for Theory" speaks to the burgeoning need for critical thinking in social gerontology. The editors have brought together some of the foremost contributors to theoretical advances in the field. This volume incorporates state-of-the-art theorizing with a focus on selected topical areas facing gerontologists around the world. Using their keen insights into substantive issues, the contributors examine personal and structural changes affecting individuals over the life course. Extolling the need for theory is not enough; the contributors focus their insights on a panoply of substantive issues, linking the personal with the political and with the structural parameters that shape the process of aging, no matter where it occurs.
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Table of Contents

The Need for Theory in Gerontology Simon Biggs, Jon Hendricks, and Ariela Lowenstein SECTION ONE Theorizing Gerontology Chapter 1 Critical Gerontological Theory: Intellectual Fieldwork and the Nomadic Life of Ideas Steven Katz Chapter 2 The Perils and Possibilities of Theory Ruth E. Ray Chapter 3 The Legacy of Social Constructionism for Social Gerontology Hans-Joachim von Kondratowitz Chapter 4 Structure and IdentityaEURO"Mind the Gap: Toward a Personal Resource Model of Successful Aging Jon Hendricks SECTION TWO Theorizing Micro Relations Chapter 5 Sense and Structure: Toward a Sociology of Old Bodies Emmanuelle Tulle Chapter 6 Contemporary Later-Life Family Transitions: Revisiting Theoretical Perspectives on Aging and the FamilyaEURO" Toward a Family Identity Framework Ariela Lowenstein Chapter 7 The Aging Paradox: Toward Personal Meaning in Gerontological Theory Gerben J. Westerhof, Freya Dittmann-Kohli, and Christina Bode Chapter 8 Negotiating Aging Identity: Surface, Depth, and Masquerade Simon Biggs SECTION THREE Theorizing Macro Relations chapter 9 Globalization and the Reconstruction of Old Age: New Challenges for Critical Gerontology Chris Phillipson Chapter 10 Theoretical Approaches to Problems of Families, Aging, and Social Support in the Context of Modernization Merril Silverstein, Vern L. Bengtson, and Eugene Litwak Chapter 11 Theorizing Age Relations Toni Calasanti Chapter 12 Theoretical Perspectives on Old Age Policy: A Critique and a Proposal Carroll L. Estes CONCLUSION Where is Theory Headed? Simon Biggs, Jon Hendricks, and Ariela Lowenstein Contributors Index

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