Modernization theory provides a successful conceptual model in gerontology for two reasons. First, and most obviously, it establishes an integrative framework for those who focus on cross-cultural and historical patterns of aging in comparative contexts. In addition, together with the age-stratification model (Riley, Johnson, and Foner, 1972), it has fostered a movement away from an emphasis on individualistic, psychological explanations of adjustment and adaptation toward a more macrolevel orientation. As a consequence, research in aging has gradually become more attuned to the importance of structural arrangements and their impact on the roles and statuses accorded the elderly. The purpose of this article is to expand further the focus on societal factors and to suggest a needed redirection of our research interests.