Race, Ethnicity, and Aging

  • Jan E. Mutchler
  • Jeffrey A. Burr
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


Sociologists recognize age and race as key dimensions of social reality, especially in the American context, with its heterogeneous population, turbulent race relations history, and rapidly changing age structure. As so-called “master variables,” age and race (along with sex) are regarded as statuses shaping and penetrating nearly every aspect of social life, including but not limited to economic opportunity and overall well-being (for reviews, see Leicht 2008; Mayer 2009; Riley and Riley 2000; Winant 2000). Sociologists who focus their research at the intersection of age and race sometimes struggle to define the “social” boundaries of these constructs, as independent from perspectives found in the biological, anthropological, and psychological sciences. Understanding how race and ethnic group status, along with the related issue of culture, shape the experience of aging itself remains an elusive but worthwhile goal.


Ethnic Group Residential Segregation African American Population Ethnic Enclave Minority Group Member 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GerontologyUniversity of MassachusettsBostonUSA

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