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Social ageing and the sociology of ageing

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Chapter Summary

Taking a look at the field of sociology that deals with social ageing, there are expressions such as the sociology of old age, the sociology of old people, the sociology of people of high age and social gerontology. The first book which dealt with the “problems of old age” in a comprehensive way was published by the Group for Investigating Life Science in 1961 under the title Rōgo mondai no kenkyū. During the 1980s, the mass media helped to highlight the problem of the ageing of Japanese society as an important topic. In 1984 the author of this chapter compiled an annotated bibliography of Western-language materials about old age in Japan. The first well-informed articles about old age in Japan were written by David W. Plath, who had apparently become aware of the enormous attention given to the elderly in Japan at that time.

Keywords: David W. Plath; Japanese society; Social ageing; social gerontology



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