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This volume reflects the emergence of ageing as a global concern, including chapters by international scholars from Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America. It provides a comprehensive overview of key trends and issues in the field, drawing upon the full range of social science disciplines. The Handbook is organized into five parts, each exploring different aspects of research into social aspects of ageing: * Disciplinary overviews: summaries of findings from key disciplinary areas within social gerontology * Social relationships and social differences: topics include: social inequality, gender and ageing, the role of religion, inter-generational ties, social networks, and friendships in later life. * Individual characteristics and change in later life: chapters in this section examine different aspects of individual aging, including self and identity, cognitive processes, and biosocial interactions and their impact on physical and psychological aging. * Comparative perspectives and cultural innovations: topics in this section include: ageing and development, ageing in a global context, migration, and cross-cultural perspectives on grandparenthood. * Policy issues: The final section examines some of the main policy concerns affecting older people across the world. Topics include: developments in social policy, long-term care, technology and older people, end of life issues, work and retirement, crime and older people, and the politics of old age. This will be essential reading for all students, researchers and policy-makers concerned with the major issues influencing the lives of older people across the globe.