The "Need for Theory" speaks to the burgeoning need for critical thinking in social gerontology. The editors have brought together some of the foremost contributors to theoretical advances in the field. This volume incorporates state-of-the-art theorizing with a focus on selected topical areas facing gerontologists around the world. Using their keen insights into substantive issues, the contributors examine personal and structural changes affecting individuals over the life course. Extolling the need for theory is not enough; the contributors focus their insights on a panoply of substantive issues, linking the personal with the political and with the structural parameters that shape the process of aging, no matter where it occurs.