The Individualisation of Ageing

  • Chris GilleardEmail author
  • Paul Higgs
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 22)


Change in the social nature of later life is exhibited through a wide range of institutions and across a wide range of settings. This change is not confined to any particular group, nor to any particular place or setting. The increasingly networked societies of the twenty first century facilitate the movement of goods, information, services and people. Age and ageing are everywhere caught up in this mobility. The relatively solid structures that were established with modernity have been gradually eroded by processes and practices which de-standardise the life course and facilitate the individualisation of life. All of life is affected including later lives that are no longer marginal to the economy, culture or to political processes. Age begins to matter more. Part of this mattering concerns the effects of ageing on the economy – the provisions for funding pension income; the accumulation of ‘pensioner wealth’; and the rising purchasing power associated with later life. Another part is the changing demography and the impact of an ageing population on health, social and welfare provision and policy as the epidemiological transition extends its influence over the ever later stages of the life course.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of PsychiatryUCL Faculty of Brain SciencesLondonUK

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