This page contains details of my more recent books and links to the publishers.

Old Age Routledge 2003

This book is about the contribution of the Social Sciences, particularly Anthropology and Sociology, to an understanding of Old Age. It seeks to advance our understanding of the world we live in by studying the position of old age within it. The key questions this book poses are: What are the universal characteristics, if any, of the ageing experience? What different kinds of ways is it possible to grow old? What is unique and special about old age in the contemporary world? Answering these questions will illuminate the way we understand society as a whole. It could be argued that the most significant change in modern society lies in its age structure. The period starting from roughly the last third of the twentieth century has seen the development of new kinds of societies in which a fifth to a quarter of the population are retired, where fewer babies are born than are required to sustain the size of the population and which sees most people living until they are over eighty years of age. There is a strong case that the essential, archetypical characteristic of the modern condition is that of old age.


Politics and Old Age: Older Citizens and Political Processes in Britain Ashgate 2001

Older people and politics have become topical in Britain. Commentators in the media suggest political power is moving into the hands of older voters. This book looks at the realities of older people and politics. It reports on a substantial empirical investigation funded by the Leverhulme Trust on old age and politics in contemporary Britain. It is about modern politics and concentrates on the last ten years, but takes an historically aware perspective. The impact of an ageing population is a contested area in Britain and elsewhere in the developed world. Older people have been characterised as both a dangerous and increasingly powerful pressure group and, in total contrast, as people marginalised and made dependent by an unresponsive political system. This study will included specific original research into the role of old age in the 1997 British General election, new research on how older people are seen, and see themselves in a political context, and bring together evidence from a wide variety of sources including a major new national survey and participant observation in pensioners politics.

Older people, citizenship and politics: the nature and rate of ageing population in Britain. Changing age profile of the electorate.
Older people’s organisations Older peoples lobby groups and pressure groups. Impact of political culture on older people’s organisations.
Older people’s issues. Pensions, poverty and the ‘war generation’.
The response of political parties Election campaigns, with illustrative material from the 1997 British General Election. Characteristics of older voters.
The response of governments. Consultation, participation, Conflict over the future of the welfare state.
The response of the electorate. Are older people seen as the deserving poor or a selfish interest group? How does the electorate see an ageing population, and associated issues?

Power, Politics and Old Age Open University Press 1999

Publishers Blurb:

Politics, Power and Old Age introduces ideas, dilemmas and controversies about the way that lives of elderly people are shaped by patterns of power. It is about politics in the broadest sense and about old age as a contested part of contemporary social life. John Vincent applies ideas about power and ageism in specific areas such as lifestyles, personal identity, appearance, and intergenerational conflicts as well as pensioners' movements, party politics and elections. He includes original research into the role of age based issues in the 1997 British General election, research on the social construction and negotiation of identity in old age, and brings together material from a range of British, American and European studies of relevance to the theme of politics and old age. Throughout, he explores global and historical trends in ageing but relates these to personal dilemmas and interpersonal relationships. The book is interdisciplinary, and its challenging ideas will appeal to a broad range of students, academics and professionals with a common interest in ageing and the care and well-being of the elderly.

Inequality and Old Age UCL Press 1995

Publishers blurb:

Rather than nerely adding old age to the standard list of inequalities, this accessible text provides the framework for a theoretical approach that includes them all. It examines the range of inequalities across different cultures, and shows that, although the edlerly are often dis-advantaged in Western societies, this is not a universal social pattern.

This ground-breaking volume casts a critical eye over the historical development of old age, showing how negative images of old age have been constructed. It also examines inequalities in the modern world to reveal their underpinning by power structures and material social conditions. Inequality is a feature of both cultural construction and social structure, and Vincent argues that the concept of the life course, rather than abstract notions of the individual, provides the tool to link them together. Addressing inequality requires a moral re-revaluation of the elderly, as people with a valued past rather than no future, and a redressing of the balance between lifetime contributions to society and receipt of its benefits. Use of the life course perspective to consider the relationship between living generations has the benefit of highlighting our social responsibility to future generations as well.


Key words: Age, Ageing, Aging, Old Age, Elder, Senior, Older People, Older Societies, Older Populations, Ageing Populations, Aging Populations,