GERO 101: Aging and Society

For further assistance with your assignment, you can contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian for Gerontology at 778.782.5043 (Monday (wfh) to Thursday ) or Additionally, help is available through Ask a Librarian


Course description and readings


"Introduces the social, psychological, and physical dimensions of aging. Largely based on the Canadian context, but will also include international research and knowledge."

This course is designed to provide undergraduate students with an introduction to the social, psychological, and physical dimensions of aging.  For more information, see the GERO 101 Course Outline and page in Canvas. If there are discrepancies between  information listed on this page and that in Canvas or instructor handouts, please refer to the latter.]

Research paper: finding books and articles

Guides on research and writing

More help


Background information

The Encyclopedia of Gerontology [online and print]
Reference works such as encyclopedias are a great place to start to get an overview of a new topic.  Entries are written by experts in the field, and often there is a useful bibliography. Sample entries: Ageism and Discrimination; Mobility and Flexibility

Suggested Books:

  • Aging and society: A Canadian perspective [print]
  • Aging and the life course: An introduction to social gerontology  [print]
  • Aging in contemporary Canada [print]     
  • Aging: Concepts and controversies [print]
  • Images that injure: pictorial stereotypes in the media [print]
    Note: Chapter 20 describes older adults
  • Decoding the cultural stereotypes about aging: New perspectives on aging talk and aging issues  [print]

To find books, search the  SFU catalogue; for search tips see SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide

Suggested subject terms:

Journal articles


Suggested databases:

Ageline - major social gerontology database See: An Introduction to the Ageline database  guide
Sample terms: Ageism, Age stereotypes; Mass media, Television, Movies
Note: If your instructor asks for peer-reviewed journal articles, simply Limit your search to Academic Journals.

PsycINFO - the major psychology database.
Hint: go to Advanced search Limit results by Age Group, i.e. Aged (65 yrs & older)

New York Times
To find articles on older people in mass media This online version of NYT is through Factiva, a full-text resource containing 3500 newspapers

See also Databases in Gerontology for other useful indexes on gerontological topics, or ask Nina

Useful web sites and books

Statistical resources

Information from Statistics Canada unless otherwise specified:

  • Census Canada - federal government website that provides information about the Canadian census as well as the results
  • Educational attainment - Statistics Canada table that displays the highest certificate, diploma or degree by age groups
  • Fact book on Aging in B.C. and Canada (7th Edition, 2019)
    Statistical overview, published by the Gerontology Research Centre at SFU
  • Population Projections for Canada (2013 to 2063) - Statistics Canada population projections based on "the latest population estimates and on assumptions that were developed from both historical and recent demographic trends with the advice of experts in demography"
  • Population aging - Statistics Canada sub-section that provides access to data, tables, and publications
  • Report on Health and Aging in Canada (2018) Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) Covers demography, retirement, social engagement, caregiving, health, lifestyle, transportation and LGB
  • A portrait of seniors in Canada (2006)  Older but excellent overview, including charts covering demographics, housing, income, health, education and other characteristics. 


For books, see the SFU catalogue under the Subjects such as : Ageism

Health information

  • Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) - website for national organization dedicated to providing "essential information on Canada’s health system and the health of Canadians"
  • Health Care in Canada 2011 (CIHI)  - report that describes "seniors' specific needs and the particular ways in which this population uses the health care system;" in particular note Chapter 2, "The Sustainability of Canada’s Health Care System"

Housing for seniors

  • Aging as a social process: Canadian perspectives [print]
    See  Chapter 8, "The Lived Environment: Community and Housing Alternatives in Later Life"
  • Aging and the life course: An introduction to social gerontology [print]
    See Chapter 9,  "Living arrangements"
  •  A portrait of seniors in Canada [print or online]
    See Chapter 4.1, "Living arrangements and the family" for statistical information
  • Living Arrangements of Seniors in British Columbia - BC Stats
  • Supportive housing for seniors - research report by CMHC

For more information see page: Further Gerontology resources for work and retirement, aging and ethnicity and many other topics