SOC246 - Lecture 2.docx

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11 Apr 2012

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SOC246 Lecture 2
Durkheim - examined social integration
Weber & Marx - status not distributed equally, layered society
Social Integration
Disintegration theory: - inevitable and mutual withdrawal from social roles by the old
- Both society and the individual favor this withdrawal
Anticipatory socialization prepare for future roles in society
- Ex. Schools, be prepared for a romantic partner
- How do you prepare for later life?
Criticism of Disintegration Theory:
- People don’t always disintegrate
- Disintegration can take multiple forms
- Some people disintegrate but don’t want to
Activity Theory social interaction and maintaining social roles are important
- Activity > social roles > positive self-concept > life satisfaction
- Criticisms: focuses on individuals and ignores larger social factors, social
and physiological needs may not be constant
Modernization theory the status of the aged in a community is inversely proportional to the degree of
modernization in that society
- All societies classify by age regardless of modernization
- Older people tend to be in superior roles in less modernized societies
Associated with decreased pwer and prestige of the old:
1) Rapid social change
2) Literacy and education
3) Geographical mobility and urban living
4) Emphasis on individualism
Associated with increased power and prestige of the old:
1) Older people retain property
2) Society privileges tradition and ceremony
3) Older people still perform duties
4) Lack of literacy in the society
5) Extended families make up household units
Criticisms of Modernization theory:
- Hard to pinpoint where modernization occurs, whether older [peoples
change in status before or after
- Underestimate the level of variation within a society
- Modernization may be different in different regions
Feminist Gerentolology:
- Gender organizes social life
- Differences in power between men and women
Generation VS Cohort:
- Generation relates to family
- Cohort relates to society
- People of different cohorts have different experiences of aging
- Hard to distinguish between aging and cohort effects
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