Becoming Old: An Introduction to Social Gerontology by John C. Morgan. New York, Springer Publishing Company 1979.
The preface oi this book states the intent of the author to "focus primarily on the social forces involved in aging" and "to produce a resource book for those considering careers in the field of aging." Both of these goals are met by this book. Although it is only 94 pages in length, including the appendix and index, it develops well the thrust of social forces as they currently impact aging and as they might be shaped.
Mr. Morgan develops his message in nine chapters, the titles of which demonstrate his positive outlook on aging, beginning with Chapter 1, "Becoming Old with Dignity," and proceeding through background synopses of forces that interact with the social, such as "Stereotypes and Realities of Aging: The Psychology of Aging" and "The Wisdom of the Body." These chapters succinctly summarize current theories of aging and the degree of documentation of each.
The remaining five chapters are concerned with social values, public policy, planning programs, community development, the Network on Aging, and outreach and communication with older persons. Again Mr. Morgan has summarized where we have been and where we are now, and gives some concrete guidance for areas which continue to require development. The involvement of the older person as a partner in this endeavor is consistent.
The appendix should be useful for those in continuing education as well as instructors of courses in formal educational programs. It includes lists of resources, case studies, and learning experiences appropriate to accompany each chapter.
I would highly recommend this book as a part of a library for students in gerontological studies, educators, and practitioners. It is applicable for a wide range of professionals who deal with aging, and is particularly sensitive to the contributions nursing is capable of making in the social realm as well as the physical.