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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 350
Course Title: *Social Gerontology
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Social, psychological and physical aspects of aging, including the consequences of the societal demographic shifts toward an increasingly aged society. Investigates the research on death and dying and the role of the elderly in our society. Additionally, generates an understanding of the theoretical perspectives on aging. Cross-listed as HUMS 350. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Family Ties and Aging
By Connidis, Ingrid Arnet (Sage)
Later Life: The Realities of Aging
By Cox, Harold G. (Prentice Hall)
Learning to be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging
By Cruikshank, Margaret (Rowman Littlefield)
Constructing the Life Course
By Holstein, James A. and Jaber F. Gubrium (Rowman Littlefield)
Age Through Ethnic Lenses: Caring for the Elderly in a Multicultural Society
By Olson, Laura Katz and Donald Gefland (Rowman & Littlefield)
Aging, Society, and the Life Course
By Morgan, Leslie and Suzanne Kunkel (Springer)
Aging: Concepts and Controversies
By Moody, Harry R. (Sage)
Aging and the Life Course
By Quadagno, Jill (McGraw Hill)
Physician Assisted Suicide: The Anatomy of a Constitutional Law Issue
By Behuniak, Susan M. & Arthur G. Svensen (Rowman Littlefield)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Perspectives on Loss and Trauma: Assaults on the Self
By Harvey, John H. (Sage)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Number Our Days
By Meyerhoff, Barbara (Touchstone Books)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
An Interview with My Grandparents: A Sociological Examination
By Schlessinger, Yaffa (McGraw Hill)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Course Objectives
  • To understand the social, psychological and physical aspects of aging.
  • To understand the development of the field of gerontology.
  • To understand the shifting roles of the aged and the manifestations of such.
  • To study the research on death and dying.
  • To understand sociological theories of aging and social policies pertaining to the aged and the needs of an increasingly aged society.
    Measurable Learning
  • Explain the social, psychological and physical aspects of aging.
  • Describe the demographic shift toward an increasingly aged society and the manifestations of such a shift.
  • Explain the emergence of the discipline of gerontology.
  • Critically analyze and interrogate social policies for the aged, understanding their value as well as their limitations: Social Security, healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Evaluate differing sociological perspectives on aging.
  • Explain the intersection of race, gender and class on aging.
    Topical Outline:
  • Global demographic shifts: increasingly aged societies
  • The development of the field of gerontology
  • Historical and cross-cultural issues in aging
  • Physical aspects of aging
  • Social aspects of aging
  • Psychological aspects of aging
  • Death, dying and widowhood
  • Gender and aging
  • Race/ethnic minorities and aging
  • Social class and aging
  • Love, intimacy, and sexuality in old age
  • Social supports and informal care giving
  • Living arrangements and aging
  • Aging and social policy

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Michael Perkins Date: November 7, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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