SOCL 2001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Disengagement Theory, Long-Term Care, Ageism

3 pages92 viewsSpring 2018

Course Code
SOCL 2001
Ramazan Aydogdu

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Chapter 10 Age Differentiation and the Aged
o Age refers to the number of years since birth
An ascribed status (we have no control over it)
o Age norms; each age status includes different social expectations
Vary widely among different societies (e.g. age at marriage, first child,
retirement, etc.)
o Normative Timetable for Major Roles chart
Life cycle/course is an age related progression or sequence of roles and group
membership that people are expected to follow as they mature and move
throughout life
o Aging is a process which implies change
Includes biological or physical changes (wrinkled skin, gray hair)
Physiological changes (functions, puberty, learning, memory, immune system)
Social changes (social networks)
o Gerontology is the systematic study of aging process (geriatrics is one biological branch,
the medical care of elderly)
o Social gerontology focuses on the social and cultural factors of aging process
o Aged refers to one specific age group and a particular stage or point in the life cycle
It occupies the later part of the aging process or life span
This group is defined as old, elderly, or senior citizens (generally age 65+, some
distinguish young-old [55-74] and old-old [75 and over])
o Many age norms, particularly those concerning the aged in the U.S. are inaccurate and
based on false assumptions
Myths about old age
o Old age is inevitable accompanied by senility
o In general old people are miserable
o Most old people are lonely
o The majority of old people have health problems
o Old people are more likely to be victimized by crime
o The majority of old people live in poverty
o Most old people who retire usually suffer a decline in health
o Most old people have no interest in or capacity for sexual relations
o Most old people end up in nursing homes and other long-term care institutions
o Ageism, prejudice and discrimination based on age. This is like racism, or sexism, ageism
involves beliefs about the inherent inferiority of a group that are used to justify
individual or institutional discrimination.
o There are four levels of ageism:
1. Personal (beliefs; older people are weak, useless, etc.)
2. Interpersonal (actions, behaviors; shouting at old people)
3. Institutional (rules that prevent rights of elderly; workplace)
4. Cultural (different societies view older people differently; eastern and
western countries)
Demographic Aspects of Aging
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