Looking Back: My Half Century as a Sociologist of Aging and Society

Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


The 1960s do not seem to have been a propitious time to embark on a major project exploring social aspects of aging in the United States. In those days, when the baby boom cohorts were about to come of age, public attention was on young people rejecting traditional ways and in apparent revolt against those over 30 – not on aging, which was generally thought of primarily as growing old. Yet it was at that time that Matilda White Riley received a major grant from the Ford Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation to pull together, evaluate, and analyze social science knowledge about the middle and later years. It was then, in the initial stages of the project, that I was invited to join in what turned out to be a lifelong career studying age and aging and a decades long association, collaboration, and friendship with Matilda Riley, one of the leading scholars in the field.


Conceptual Scheme Class Pattern Russell Sage Foundation Social Location Ford Foundation 
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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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