European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 67-75

Rural and urban perspectives on growing old: developing a new research agenda

  • Chris PhillipsonAffiliated withCentre for Social Gerontology, School of Social Relations, Keele University Email author 
  • , Thomas ScharfAffiliated withCentre for Social Gerontology, School of Social Relations, Keele University

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Urban and rural themes have played an important part in European gerontological research. This paper analyses current issues in the field of urban and rural studies as applied to understanding old age. Both dimensions are being affected by population movements of different kinds, driven to a significant degree by globalisation in its various forms. The paper summarises trends underpinning rural and urban living and evidence regarding the impact of change in these areas on daily life in old age. The article considers a number of research agendas which would advance rural and urban studies of ageing, these combining developments in geography and urban studies with those in critical gerontology. The paper argues that a revitalised rural and urban gerontology will bring forward major new themes and issues for social gerontology in the 21st century.


Rural gerontology Urban studies Globalisation City life