The British School of Social Gerontology: A Bibliographical Review of a Publication Project

 
PIIS023620070010041-2-1
DOI10.31857/S023620070010041-2
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: Leading Research Fellow; Senior Research Fellow
Affiliation:
Institute of Social Analysis and Forecast Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS
Address: 11, Prechistenskaya emb., 119034, Moscow, Russian Federation
Journal nameChelovek
EditionVolume 31 Issue №3
Pages173-183
Abstract

The article presents the development of the British school of social gerontology using the case of a large editorial project. Open University Press, owned by McGraw-Hill, the world's largest educational company, has been producing several publishing series under the heading «Late Life» for fifteen years. The series included 25 monographs which represent a scientific view on ageing. During 1994 – 2012, the modern British school of social gerontology has passed through three main stages of its development. The first stage is a theoretical one, aimed at the establishment of a description language, a critical perspective on the phenomenon of ageing, the search for social and psychological factors explaining the discrimination of elderly people. The second stage is completely determined by the dominance of medical terminology pointing out medical care and care for the elderly. The focus was made on the concept of health, discussions on the distinction between old age and disease and social institutions providing proper care for older people. At this medical stage, an elderly person was redefined as a central figure of medical practice. A human with his or her interests and preferences has become more significant than the objectified and predetermined health characteristics in care system according to the modern medical ethics. The third stage is the social one, aimed at studying the elderly person’s identity, and social relations destroyed and created at late life. The main point has shifted from health to social well-being and happiness. There has come an understanding that old age is accompanied by diseases which must be adopted, but not overcomed or ignored. The idea of active ageing provided the formation of research programs on the mobility and inclusion of the elderly in social interactions. These three evolution stages of the British school of social gerontology laid the foundation for studying the ageing and allowed researchers to take a different look at the features of ageing society, not only in the UK, but in the whole world. The article was prepared as a part of the research work accomplished for the purpose of state assignment of RANEPA.

Keywordssocial gerontology, monography, aging, old age, science school, elderly care, elderly discrimination, health, medical ethics, identity, social well-being, active aging, research, British school
Received24.03.2020
Publication date30.06.2020
Number of characters15751
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