Like all other advanced Western societies, Germany is coming to terms with the phenomenon of an ageing population. The demographic challenge posed by population ageing is generally seen in terms of potential crisis in the funding of health and social programmes. Some social scientists have even suggested that the early decades of the next century will be marked by conflict between the generations, with young and old competing for increasingly scarce resources. This is the first book written in English to address comprehensively ageing policies in Germany and the contribution of older people to German society. The book examines the development of social policies affecting older people since the origins of the German welfare state under Bismarck and looks at how policy makers have sought to cope with the growing numbers of elderly people over the years.
The social, economic and political role of older people in contemporary Germany and their contribution to society are also explored, from their development into a more politically active sector of society to their changing relationship with the labour market and their social integration in terms of their relationships with families, neighbourhoods and local communities.
'Scharf's book is a model of clarity with a good index and extensive references.' Social Policy 'It is the first (and perhaps only) book of its kind written in English that provides a detailed account of German aging poplicy ... Scharf's contribution is notable and worthwhile reading.' Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology ' ... truly a fascinating collection ... Highly recommended.' Age and Ageing