Social change and later life

Ian Rees Jones, Martin Hyde, Christina R. Victor, Richard D. Wiggins, Chris Gilleard and Paul Higgs

in Ageing in a consumer society

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9781861348821
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301431 | DOI:
Social change and later life

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This chapter provides some background information for studying the extent to which consumption is now a part of later life. The discussion begins by looking at the problem of studying later life in the context of fast social change. It then charts the rise of mass consumer society in the United Kingdom and how this has related to the ideas of ‘generational change’. It uses recent developments in theories of high, late or second modernity in order to focus properly on the key areas of social change, as well as how these relate to the experiences of older people in society. The chapter also provides an overview of the next chapters and how they reflect and relate to the main theme of consumption.

Keywords: consumption; later life; social change; mass consumer society; generational change; theories of modernity; experiences; older people

Chapter.  5315 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

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