KEY BENEFIT: This comprehensive overview of the social aspects of the aging experience -- from the standpoint of both the individual and the wider society -- focuses on North American and worldwide trends, and the social positions of the elderly both now and in the twenty-first century. It assesses both the causes and direction of social change in the modern world brought on by the aging society. This book examines policy on aging in the United States and Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, China, Sweden, and Brazil. It also includes an extensive review of the research on concepts of self among the aged., and explores the evolving role of the aged as a social force. It updates aging patterns among minority groups. There is a new chapter on the mental health of the aged , and expands the discussion on the physical health of the aged. It also contains a new section on the right to die, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide.