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  • Author or Editor: Martin Hyde x
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This chapter presents data that was taken from four decades of the Family Expenditure Survey on the patterns of consumption among older people in the UK from 1968 to 2003. It examines the extent to which, with increasing affluence and the growth of a consumer society, the social nature of ageing has become more differentiated. It shows that not only has the patterning of consumption and expenditure changed, but the period has also witnessed considerable changes in the patterning of inequality. The chapter also states that there is evidence to suggest that polarisation and inequality have become acute among older age groups.

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This chapter studies the impact of the changes in household composition on consumption in later life. It also considers how many changes in the household structure have facilitated or held back the consumerist transformation of post-working life. The discussion also takes a look at the extent to which patterns of consumption in ‘pensioner-only’ households are different from those of people of pensionable age living in ‘non-pensioner’ households.

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