Thursday, October 18, 2012
Lecture # 7 – The Sociology of Age
- Treatment of a person based on age is country and culture specific.
- Linked to economic dependency and social interpretations.
- Youth is highly valued.
- Minors are treated differently from adults
Ageism: The belief that age is associated with certain psychological, behavioral or intellectual traits.
Age: A Variable Impact:
- Determines life experiences.
- Associated with different development stages.
- Defines roles and expectations of behavior.
- Influences membership of social groups.
- Defines legal status (what you can or cannot do).
Age Grading – The assignment of roles given to chronological ages.
Childhood: Birth – 17:
- Subdivided into infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
- Social category – developed after industrialization.
- Canada – Child labour laws.
- Sexual exploitation of children (serious crime)
Adulthood: 18 – 64:
- Subdivided into young adulthood, adulthood, and middle age.
- Dramatic role changes (entering workforce, marriage, parenthood).
- Concept of middle age recent development (life expectancy extended).
- “Sandwich generation”
o Emotionally and economically responsible for both young and children and aging
Elderhood: 65+: Divided into young-old, old and old-old.
- Young-old: Healthy, active, independent. - Old-old: Less healthy, less active, and more dependent.
- Myths about the Elderly:
o Always sick.
o Most in nursing homes.
o Victims of crime.
o Loss of sexual satisfaction.
o Unable to adapt.
Views of Society:
Structural-Functionalist View of Society:
- Interconnected of Social system – statuses and roles, social institutions – Functions.
o Other social institutions; economy, education, media, family, religion, peer