Theories help us understand patterns of behaviors and aspects of social life and are shaped by history and culture. The field of gerontology seeks to understand social, behavioral, and psychological aspects of aging. Since individual aging is deeply intertwined with social change, each theory can best be understood in its relationship to the others. Not surprisingly, aging and old age have been studied from many different perspectives: that of individuals, groups, specific societies, distinct historical periods, comparative studies of societies, and so on. Some researchers seek to find similarities, and others look at change. This course will review the major theories of aging, differentiate between categories of theories, and include views on older adulthood.