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Old Age and Population Ageing

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Pat Thane (Birkbeck, University of London) explores population ageing, its causes and impacts, policies related to it, and the place of older people in society. In the first lecture, we look at the historical process of population ageing and the first policies around old age in the early 1900s. In the second lecture, we think about the welfare state and its effects on older people’s lives, in terms of state pensions, the National Health Service, and social care. In the third lecture, we survey policies related to population ageing from the 1970s to the present. Next, we review some stereotypes and realities about older people. In the fifth and final lecture, we look at ageist discrimination in employment and healthcare, and the ways in which older people have protested this.

About the Lecturer

Professor Pat Thane is Visiting Professor in History at Birkbeck, University of London. She researches twentieth century British history, with a focus on social policy. Her recent publications include Divided Kingdom: A History of Britain, 1900 to the Present (2018), Sinners? Scroungers? Saints? Unmarried Motherhood in Twentieth Century England (2012) (with Tanya Evans) and Happy Families? History and Family Policy (2011).