Robert and Helen Lynd's Middletown set the format in sociological theory and practice for hundreds of studies in the decades following its publication in 1929. Old People in Three Industrial Societies may well set similar standards for studies in its field for many years to come. In addition to achieving a significant breakthrough in the progress of sociological research techniques, the book offers a monumental cross-cultural exposition of the health, family relationships, and social and economic status of the aged in three countries-the United States, Britain, and Denmark.
The accumulated data of this survey put to the acid test many of the stereotyped notions about the situation of the elderly: for example, that most old people are isolated from their families as well as from the society at large; that most old people want to continue to work and are barred from employment only because of prejudices against them in industry and because of fixed retirement and pension ages; that all old people live in poor economic conditions. Besides rectifying views held by many social scientists, this pathbreaking work provides empirically based answers to numerous questions regarding important features of aging, which can be studied irrespective of the broader national and social patterns that surround them.
A truly collaborative survey conducted in three countries by a team of sociologists and economists working from a similar point of view and with common methods, the book gives the newest information and viewpoints in this important field. This makes it mandatory reading and an invaluable aid for all involved in the study, treatment, and counseling of the aged. Old People in Three Industrial Societies, will be a valuable guide for all social research underlying the development and implementation of social policy.