Health, Aging & Society

Most material acquired will be in English, with a few significant works in European languages being purchased as required if translations are not available.
Two social science programmes – Gerontology, and Health Studies – have merged to form the Department of Health, Aging and Society. For the time being we will maintain independent collection policies, both described in this document. Each section of the document describes the Gerontology collection policy and then the Health Studies collection policy [marked by G and H].

G: The library's collection in the social aspects of gerontology is already well developed by reason of the established collection building activities of Social Work, Kinesiology, Sociology, and Psychology. The Health Sciences library is also collecting materials that relate more specifically to Geriatric studies and duplication of materials by the two libraries will be avoided.

H: Health Studies is an interdisciplinary program in which students learn to employ theories and methods from the social sciences to think critically about the diverse meanings and practices associated with health, illness and health care. The library’s collection in social aspects of health is growing. The current policy is intended to build resources to support the undergraduate course instruction programme; the development of an MA programme; and the research and scholarly activity of faculty.

G:  Most material will be acquired from Canadian, British, American and Commonwealth countries.

H:  Primary Areas: Canada; USA; Britain/ Europe; Australia/ New Zealand; South Africa; Secondary Areas: comparative international: OECD countries; developing and transition economics

G: Emphasis will be on currently published materials. H: Health Studies deals both with the present and the history of ideas about health & illness, and the development of health policies and services.

  • Books; currently published and the occasional reprint of a classic work.
  • Periodicals; many new journals are appearing in print. Many of these will be acquired as well as the backfile of older titles to provide an historical perspective.
  • Government Documents; a rich source of research for students, the relevant publications from Canadian, British and American governments will be collected.
  • Theses; theses from other institutions will be selectively purchased, preferably in bound format.
  • Audio Visual Materials. Those for classroom viewing are the responsibility of the Office for Gerontological Studies in conjunction with Audio Visual Services.
  • Proceedings; the Proceedings of national and international conferences and symposia relevant to the gerontology programme are collected.
  • Electronic Data: available through the Library's web site.



Introduction to Gerontology (C)

      A multidisciplinary study of gerontology emphasizing the broad range of gerontological studies.


Multidisciplinary Issues (C)

      An examination of the contemporary issues in the field of gerontology from a multidisciplinary perspective.


Biological Dimensions (C)

      An examination of age-related change in the biology and physiology of the human population. The Health Sciences library will collect and house most of the materials.


International Aspects (C)

      A study of the issues in selected developed and developing countries.


Gerontology Field Experience (C)

      Gerontology field experience, focusing on the integration of theoretical knowledge and practicum experience.


Research Methods in Social Gerontology (C)

      Conducting, interpreting and applying research in social gerontology.


Psychological Aspects of Aging (C)

      Including sensation, perception, attention, memory, intelligence, communication, personality, attitudes and mental health. Collected in conjunction with the Psychology department.


Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Aging (C)

      Emphasizing cross-cultural comparisons. Collected in collaboration with the Department of Anthropology.


Communication and Counselling (C)

      An examination of the theories and issues concerned with communication and counselling the older adult.


Physical Activities, Leisure and Aging (C)

      An examination of the concepts and theories in respect to aging and vitality in later life. Collected in collaboration with the School of Kinesiology and Athletics.


Social Policy and the Aging Population (C)

      An examination of the social issues and an analysis of social policies designed to meet the problems that exist with aging populations.


Social Dimensions (C)

      An examination of the sociological aspects of aging.

Health Studies


Conceptualizations of health, illness and healing across cultures & through history  (C and B)

  • cultural definitions of and responses to health concerns
  • historical aspects of health, illness and health care
  • representations of health in the arts and popular culture, including:
  • health beliefs
  • religious beliefs and health
  • health and the media
  • health consumerism
  • health ethics


The political and institutional contexts of health, illness and health care  (C and B)

  • political and institutional influences on the organization and delivery of health care
  • politics and policy development as they affect health, including:
  • health policy
  • health human resources
  • health in the welfare state
  • comparative health systems
  • privatization of health
  • work and health, and rehabilitation


Global and international health concerns in social context  (C and B)

  • the role of social and economic contexts in producing, distributing and responding to health and illness
  • health and food security/ nutrition
  • health and housing
  • inner city/ urban / rural health issues
  • health, war and peace
  • social movements and health


Specific content areas of interest (C and B)

Social aspects of:

  • Chronic illness
  • Disability
  • Mental health
  • Reproduction
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Cancer

Arts and Social Sciences