Qualifying the Aging Enterprise: Micro- and Meso-Level Studies in Human Service Organizations

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date



Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Source Publication

Critical Gerontology Comes of Age

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.4324/9781315209371-4


The aging enterprise critique centers on macro-level structural analyses. A focus is on welfare state policies and social services. In this chapter, we review 35 years of qualitative studies on policy-making and service delivery which confirm and question the top-down contributions of macro-level examination. The chapter begins with review of the larger political and economic environment in which the aging enterprise critique emerged, and which has provided common research questions for more macro-level and more micro-level analyses. We then review qualitative studies examining policy-making and institutional discourses through personal interaction and the consideration of expanding critical gerontology to include study of socio-emotional economy. We end with charting a road for critical gerontology in which comparison and contrast between structural- and interactional-level analyses are a symbiotic relationship rather than a false choice between these approaches.


"Qualifying the Aging Enterprise: Micro- and Meso-Level Studies in Human Service Organizations" in Critical Gerontology Comes of Age. Ed. Chris Wellin. New York: Taylor & Francis (Routledge) 2018: 46-61. DOI.