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Aging and Society: Canadian Perspectives, 8th Edition

By Mark Novak, Herbert C. Northcott, Lori Campbell

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Instructional Resources
Digital teaching aids may be available for this title. All instructor requests are reviewed by our team before the files are made accessible.
Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 0176700013
ISBN-13: 9780176700010
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 8th

As the 21st century unfolds, the study of aging will increase in importance. Canada’s population will have more older people than ever before. These people will make new demands on Canada’s healthcare, retirement income, and housing resources. They will also bring new interests, skills, and approaches to later life. People young and old will need to understand the realities of aging in this new era. This text presents a full picture of aging—problems and all. But it also emphasizes the opportunities and advantages of later life to illustrate its underlying theme: successful aging. This theme makes more sense today than ever before. Longer life and more years of activity and good health have changed the landscape of old age. Late old age still brings physical decline. But better health and nutrition at every stage of life, along with advances in medicine, extend the active years of middle age. The sayings “60 is the new 40” and “70 is the new 50” may have begun as clever remarks, but they describe the reality of aging today for more and more people. Above advances in health care, nutrition, and medicine, technological change, a globalized economy, unstable work careers, demographic change, convergence of male and female career opportunities—all call for new models of aging to fit new patterns of social experience. Many changes have taken place in Canadian gerontology. New researchers have entered the field of aging. The government has released many reports that summarize studies of health, housing, and pension policies. And consortia of researchers and research centres have published the results of their studies. This body of knowledge will shape social policy in the future. We have used these sources and many others, including academic journals, books, and online reports to update this text to engage students and provide a deeper understanding of how the topic relates to their lives and society.


  • *NEW* New Time to Review questions help students to assess their learning as they progress through the chapter contents.
  • *NEW* The projected issues of the past exist as real challenges today. Canada has become an older society. Income inequality, early retirement, community-based healthcare, the importance of active living, and caregiver burden affect more people than ever before. The first Baby Boomers have begun to enter old age. This generation as it ages will make new demands on society and this will call for new responses. The eighth edition of Aging and Society: Canadian Perspectives points to some of the emerging issues in aging and to the challenges that lie ahead.
  • Aging in Global Perspective boxes examine examples and cases of aging in a cross-cultural and global context.
  • Each chapter begins with Learning Objectives that lay out the chapter contents and prompt students to read the chapter with a critical eye.
  • Chapter exhibits present charts, graphs, and examples to further illustrate points in the text. These exhibits engage students in questions that probe their understanding. Many exhibits ask students to reflect on their personal views on a topic.

Table of Contents

  • Part One: Gerontology Today
  • Chapter 1: Aging Today
  • Chapter 2: Theories and Methods
  • Part Two: Social Change
  • Chapter 3: Aging in Canada and the World Today
  • Chapter 4: Aging and Ethnicity
  • Part Three: Maturational Change
  • Chapter 5: Personal Health and Illness
  • Chapter 6: The Psychology of Aging
  • Part Four: Institutional Change
  • Chapter 7: Healthcare
  • Chapter 8: Finances and Economics
  • Chapter 9: Retirement and Work
  • Chapter 10: Leisure, Recreation, and Service
  • Chapter 11: Housing and Transportation
  • Part Five: The Experience of Aging
  • Chapter 12: Family Life
  • Chapter 13: Social Support
  • Chapter 14: Dying, Death, and Bereavemen

Author Information

Mark Novak

Dr. Mark Novak received his bachelor's degree in sociology from Rutgers University in New Jersey and his Ph.D. degree in Sociology from York University in Toronto. He specializes in the study of adult development, adult education, and aging. Dr. Novak taught and conducted research at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba for more than twenty years. Dr. Novak has written many articles for professional journals in Canada and abroad. He has written several books including a general interest study in Canada entitled Successful Aging and several texts in the field of gerontology. Dr. Novak is currently Associate Vice-President and Dean of the College of International and Extended Studies at San Jose State University (SJSU). He has held this position since 1996.

Herbert C. Northcott

Dr. Herbert C. Northcott was born in Brandon, Manitoba, and grew up in Winnipeg. He went to school at Linwood Elementary, Deer Lodge Junior High, and St. James Collegiate Institute. He attended United College (now the University of Winnipeg) and the University of Manitoba, graduating with a B.A. in 1970. He earned a master's degree in 1971 from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He received a Ph.D. in 1976 from the University of Minnesota. In 1976, he joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton where he continues to work. He has taught over 11,000 students and published extensively in the sociology of health and illness, aging, and dying and death. He is married to Laura West and together they have three amazing children and six wonderful grandchildren.

Lori Campbell

Dr. Lori Campbell is currently the associate dean (academic) in the Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster University, and an associate professor in the Department of Health, Aging and Society, and the Department of Sociology. Dr. Campbell's primary research interests centre on family and aging. She has published research on sibling ties in middle and later life, intergenerational family transfers, and men's experience in filial caregiving. She is currently lead investigator on a qualitative study exploring the experience and meaning of inheritance within families. Dr. Campbell taught the first-year Aging and Society introductory course for many years, as well as upper-year courses on theories of aging, men and families, gendered aging, and family relationships across the life course.