Research into ageing and later life has tended to describe old age in relation to society's problems concerning health and social care. Today demographic changes, current advancements in technology, and political and socio-cultural developments also affect the living conditions of both young and old people. This exceptional volume draws together scholars from Europe and the USA to inspire and encourage new research approaches. Taking old people's own ideas, experiences and opinions as the starting point for studies of the ageing process, the contributors regard old age as an equally important and varied stage of the life cycle. The volume considers the humanistic-historical dimension of ageing and substantiates new perspectives on family roles and intergenerational relationships. It also examines age discrimination, the impact of the increase in early retirement, the effect of old and new technology on older people's lives, different ageing experiences of men and women, and how to emphasize old people's own interpretation and understanding of the ageing process.