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In this timely and authoritative overview on social gerontology and social theory, Chris Phillipson outlines the changing contexts and experiences associated with later life as we move into a new century. The book critically reviews the different theoretical explanations which attempt to explain these changes. Phillipson shows how in late modernity changes to pensions, employment and retirement, and intergenerational relations, are placing doubt on the meaning of growing old. He suggests that later life is being reconstructed as a period of potential choice on the one hand, but also of risk and danger on the other. This book will be essential reading for students and academics in social gerontology, as well as for students and academics in sociology, social policy and related disciplines interested in the future of an ageing population and the future of social gerontology.