Gerontology Thematic Sequences

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If you have additional questions about the thematic sequences in Gerontology or in order to declare a thematic sequence in Gerontology, please contact the advisor Dr. Jennifer Kinney ( 

Aging in Diverse Contexts

A significant paradigm shift has occurred within gerotnology. The accumulation of research findings suggests that age alone predicts very little about the human experience. Instead, the impact of age and agins is mediated by a range of social and cultural factors. Social characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, and societal factors such as economic development and cultural traditions combine to produce a diverse range of experiences and patterns of aging. This thematic sequence begins with an overview of the social, cultural, and personal experiences of aging. The Tier 2 course will provide you with grounding in sociocultural analyses of the contexts of aging, and the Tier 3 course is an in-depth exploration of the sources of variation in the aging experience. Students who complete this sequence will understand the ways in which the meanings and experiences of aging are shaped by social and physical location, and the ways in which diversity among the older population is produced.

Tier 1: Aging in American Society (GTY 154)

Tier 2: Global Aging (GTY 260) or Sociology of Aging and the Life Course (GTY/SOC 318)

Tier 3: Gender and Aging (GTY/SOC/WGS 463) or Race, Ethnicity and Aging (GTY/BWS 472) or Environment and Aging (GTY 476) or Families in Later Life (GTY/FSW 466)

Health and Aging

This thematic sequence explores health and aging. The Tier 1 course provides you with an overview of the processes of aging, especially in the United States. In Tier 2, you select one of three courses, each of which examines health and aging from a different position along a continuum that ranges from the micro- to the macro/meso- level contexts. The Tier 3 course offers you the opportunity to integrate academic and applied aspects of health and aging, either through exploration of moral issues in health care, secondary data analysis, or field experience in a health care setting.

Tier 1: Aging in American Society (GTY 154)

Tier 2: Biopsychosocial Aspects of Health and Aging (GTY 356) or Medical Sociology (GTY/SOC 357) or Disability and Aging (GTY/DST 335)

Tier 3: Moral Issues in Health Care (PHL 375) or Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Chronic Illness (GTY 478) or Field Experience in Gerontology (GTY 430)