This article addresses the historical development of the field of social gerontology and examines the unique contributions of sociology, as well as the other social sciences. Cowgill and Holmes' "Modernization Hypothesis" is outlined and critiqued. Critical variables determining the status of the aged in different societies and historical periods are delineated, including family form, religion, knowledge base, harshness of the environment, and speed of social change.
Cox, Harold and Newtson, Richard
"History of Social Gerontology,"
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/socprac/vol11/iss1/4