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SOC102H1 Midterm 2 Reading Notes

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Lorne Tepperman

Lecture 6 Age Segregation and Ageism Social Problem Ch. 6 Ageism: direct or indirect discrimination against people based on their age Only small percentage of elderly men and women (64-75) live in special-care institutions and have declining mental states Life course: Glen Elder o Patterned sequence of individual experiences over time Depends on social, historical and cultural influences There is an expected life course for everyone that is similar to the experienced one o Human development and aging are lifelong processes Things are always occurring as one ages Wants and priorities change depending on ones age Cannot understand ideas, beliefs, etc without understanding how they got to that age o Developmental antecedents and consequences of life transitions, events and behaviour patterns vary according to their timing in a persons life It makes a difference at what age you make a key life transition Ie. Moving, divorce, job losing at 25 or 50 o lives are lived interdependently and socio=historical influences are expressed through this network of shared relationships entering different social statuses may depend on your network, not yourself how much weve prepared to enter a new role determines how well we do in the role o the life course of individuals is embedded in and shaped by the historical times and places they experience over their lifetime going to college is different depending on if it was 1940 or 2011, during the depression or when it was a time of male dominance history effects our oppourtunities and choices o individuals construct their own life courses through the choices and actions they take within the oppourtunities of history and social circumstances there will always be variations between people no matter what their circumstances because we have free will to choose our path though it might be predictable, based on history, it is never certain what someone will become senescence: biological aging of an organism as it lives beyond its maturity o an individuals physical and mental abilities gradually improve, then decline recently there has been an increased interest in childhood and declined interest in adulthood even though their numbers have greatly increased age pyramid: in todays world it is a diamond shape o low number of children and elderly (80+) high number of everything in between o determined by number of people living in a certain age group and divided between males and females age stratification: the way social structures affect individual ageing and the vertical segregation of people by age o mistreatment of certain age groups o populations with a high number of dependents (elderly& children) use much of the nations resources for health, education, welfare and housing o populations with a high number of workforce people are able to spend money on development, savings, war o increasing the number of elderly people means more people who need care, yet are also disrespected theoretical perspectives on aging o structural functionalism disengagement theory: Elaine Cumming and William Henry as people age, they should begin removing themselves from activities and social contacts to make room for those who are more abled o younger people are able to move up on the occupational hierarchy o get to celebrate ones work (retirement party) o replaces outdated skills with new ones retirement serves several functions, especially the re-vigoration of social institutions o conflict theory conflict and change are basic features of social life age-related discrimination does not benefit society elderly people do not disengage, they are pushed out of the workforce not their own decision the most power groups in society command resources and are the decision- makers o symbolic interactionism socially constructed definitions of age and aging affect ones experience of growing old people take on new roles as they age (no disengaging) media portrayals reflect and reinforce societys stereotypes about older people activity theory: Havighurst and Albrecht people take on new roles and identities as they age through continued activity they preserve their self-worth o feminist theory aging effects men and women differently women are more likely to experience hardships because they live longer lower job status = lower pension/savings women usually provide care in aging while men receive it double jeopardy: being female and old o social constructionism views of aging are shaped by moral entrepreneurship popular beliefs about aging are propagated by the mass media and do not reflect reality many of the baby-boom generation are already retiring o must rely on govt resources to sustain them, but there are too many of them o working class will need to help pay for pensions and benefits of the elderly o should not discourage elderly from working because we need all the help we can get career mobility: Bullard and Wright o financial and occupational advancement over the life cycle o sustained by 1) continuing economic growth 2) continuous elimination of elderly through death or retirement o situation has changed recently due to 3 reasons decline in economic growth longer life span removal of compulsory retirement o usually as one ages they move up in their organization (salary, authority, prestige, etc) now seniority doesnt matter, education level does o internal labour market: high control over what level, through what stages and how quickly one moves in their career seniority will not help one jump from one position to another o technology also pushes elderly out made by the young, for the young health problems may prevent elderly from using them (arthritis) o people usually stay where oppourtunities are best seniority is more important than age for departure reasons o compulsory retirement (age 65) was in place in Canada until 2005 salary cap was 10 year prior so there was no financial incentive to stay if they were offered a retirement package self-employed professionals had no retirement rule, nor packages to rely on though they were more involved in their work and it was both a sense of identity and source of income inheritance: downward flow of property after death o primogeniture: eldest son receives everything or property is split amoung all surviving children sometimes sons and daughters inherit equally, or some females receive their portion through their husbands parents influence children through inheritance and those siblings who receive it influence other siblings who dont o filial responsibility: moral responsibility of a grown child to look after his or her aging parent set in Chinese culture by Confucius with social changes, this no longer holds very well many elderly denied their traditional source of care-giving sandwich generation: middle-aged adults caring for both elderly parent and for their own young children o many Canadians viewing elder care as personal rather than private matter elder abuse: sometimes mistreatment occurs without ones household by spouse, siblings, children, other times its mistreatment by staff and professional caregivers o material exploitation: improper use of an elderlys personal savings, property or assets o self-neglect: elderlys refusal or failure to give themselves enough water, food, med, etc elderly men tend to rely on wifes emotional support, whereas women rely on many sources of emotional support social supports help caregivers and patients o influence sick people to comply with treatment advice many things get in the way of using services including lack of info about the services (education) or language/culture barriers o learning to age successfully requires one to be prepared for all changes in life o empty-nest syndrome: children leaving home for university or marriage o aging alwa
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