26 Pages

Old Age as a Social Problem

Historical Notes on the English Experience
BySally Macintyre

In this paper I examine changes in central government policies towards old age in England between 1834 and 1976. The paper is based on documents published by government departments and by commissions and committees of enquiry over this period. My main focus is on the contents of formulations of old age as a social problem, and upon their possible consequences. I argue that competing formulations of old age as a social problem produce certain tensions and dilemmas for the provision of medical and social services, and that these dilemmas may be equally relevant to other conditions and may currently be assuming increasing significance.