Gerontology embraces a wide array of disciplines and scholarly perspectives that include the social sciences and humanities, biology, biochemistry, medicine, and the health sciences. Studies of aging and of older persons have long been situated within these individual disciplines and have generally assumed the theoretical foundations and dominant methodological approaches that characterize particular disciplines. The Graduate Center for Gerontology (GCG) takes a different approach.
The GCG at the University of Kentucky recognizes diverse approaches for exploring aging and older persons. Instead of limiting students to a particular discipline, we encourage development of an integrative way of thinking. The GCG embraces the continuum of sub-cell to society, an approach to the study of aging that seeks to improve the human condition on every level. Although students at the doctoral level cannot become experts in all areas and scales of inquiry, we expect our graduates to be able to:
- Critically assess disciplinary approaches to studies of aging and older persons;
- Integrate relevant concepts and theories from diverse disciplines to effectively plot important research directions; and
- Effectively employ the best possible research designs and methods in addressing scholarly and applied questions in gerontology; and
- Establish expertise in a clear area of scholarship, while situating this expertise within a multi-scale and interdisciplinary context that acknowledges the complexity associated with becoming and being old.