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Governments are encouraging later-life working and state pension ages are being raised. There is also a growing debate on intergenerational equity and on ageism/age discrimination. John Macnicol, one of Europe's leading academic analysts of old age and ageing, examines the effect of neoliberalism on the recent ageing and social policy agenda in the UK and the USA. He argues that the demographic and economic impulses behind recent policy changes are in fact less important than the effect of neoliberalism as an ideology, which has caused certain key problems to be defined in a particular way. The book outlines past theories of old age and examines pensions reform, the debate on life expectancy gains, the causes of retirement, the idea of intergenerational equity, the current debate on ageism/age discrimination and the likely human consequences of raising state pension ages.Read more
- Offers a unique interdisciplinary focus on a highly topical issue, which is one of today's key social policy debates
- Explores a central issue: do we wish to preserve old age as a discrete stage of life, to be protected by welfare policies specifically targeting 'the old'? Should old age be accorded a privileged status?
- Makes a challenging and original analysis, critically examining many of today's received wisdoms in the debate on ageing and social policy
Reviews & endorsements
"A searching analysis of the impact of neo-liberal policies on the lives of older people. John Macnicol draws together a wealth of research in challenging current perspectives on work and retirement. A powerful and authoritative study."
Chris Phillipson, University of ManchesterSee more reviews
"A fascinating read. [A] comprehensive analysis from one of our leading social policy scholars - a clear critical voice for our times."
Debora Price, Institute of Gerontology, King's College London
"With convincing evidence and compelling argument, Macnicol analyses the structural forces driving the 'new old age agenda' that has been eroding the protections and welfare rights of those who wish and need to retire, in Britain and elsewhere. He powerfully challenges the complacent consensus that these developments were inevitable and that alternative policies are unavailable."
Steven Lukes, New York University
"A tour de force in deconstructing the processes of neoliberalisation as they affect old age. What is so enticing about Macnicol's book is his placement of the assumptions and claims of neoliberalism under the microscope of evidence, both historical and political."
Susan A. McDaniel, Canada Research Chair in Global Population and Life Course, and Prentice Research Chair and Professor of Sociology, University of Lethbridge, Canada
"Macnicol takes on a difficult set of issues in the retirement and pension literature and does an exceptional job of presenting and defending his critique of the current neoliberal consensus with respect to the viable options for dealing with the projected pension costs associated with the retirement of the baby boomers and population aging more generally in the UK and the USA."
John B. Williamson, Boston College, Massachusetts
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- Date Published: September 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107535541
- length: 254 pages
- dimensions: 232 x 153 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.35kg
- contains: 5 b/w illus. 6 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The changing meanings of old age
2. Old age in the past
3. Pensions reform, from the 1990s onwards
4. Demography as destiny?
6. Intergenerational equity
7. Towards age equality?
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