test one notes

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7 Apr 2011
SOC 246 Test 1
Week one
Stages of demographic transition:
o1) high birth rate and high death rate, typically resulting in small growth in size
o2) high birth rate and decreasing death rate, resulting in increasing population
o3) decreasing birth rate and decreasing death rate, resulting in reducing
population growth
o4)low birth rate and low death rate, resulting in low levels of population growth
Economic consequence for older developed countries
oThe high cost of keeping the population healthy and out of poverty can lessen
attractiveness of the country for industrial production
oSome young countries economically on the rise are amassing wealth by so far
refusing to bear those costs (example china has a few pensions)
Reasons for population aging
opeople have much fewer children/ the replacement rate needed to keep a
population from declining is 2.1 children and no place in the developed country
has that
ofertility is related to globalization & urbanization (urban and educated women
postpone having children until they are prepared for and established in their
jobs- rearing children in the city is more expansive
othe baby boom occurred during increased urbanization & education (fertility
increasing after WW2 because people put off having children before & during the
war) (one year difference between Canada and U.S- economy was worst in
Canada/ Canadians get married at older ages/ the basic rhythms of private lives
are diverging in the two countries
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oEmigration to Canada is increasing population aging in some source countries/
the young are willing to be relatively low cost workers in new countries, economic
growth at home is not adequate, or war encourages them to leave
3)Average life expectancy
oIts nearly increasing everywhere/ longer life is a by product of worldwide
dissemination of public-health, medical technology & literacy
The old people in chain have been excluded form the economy, left behind in their rural
villages, or pushed from their urban homes in the ghettos or apartment blocks on the
urban edge/ in china we can say there is a age apartheid/ to keep the manufacturing low
for the rest of the world, pensions, health care or disability insurance are kept low
In some places issues are particularly gendered/ in Japan Korea women leave paid work
when married or have children/ in Canada married women tend to continue working
and those who have children ten to re-enter labour force
Policy and child care is particularly important given the current age-structure and
economic distribution in Canada because the largest group of poor people today in
Canada are female single parents.
The economic and social fortunes of a birth cohort ten to vary as a function of that
cohorts relative size (size gives political power to influence welfare policy)/ national
politics has to be put in context of the globalize and historical context
Week two The field of social gerontology
Gerontology is the scientific study of the biological, psychological and social aspect of
aging/ the field of senescence, the application of the evolutionary principals to
understand decline leading to death in humans and other living organisms
Social gerontology: concerned mainly with the social as opposed to the physical or the
biological aspect of aging (look at family relationship/health/economics...)/ they recognise
that successful aging depends not just on the prevention of decease and disability, but
also on the attainment of peak physical and psychological functioning and participation
in rewarding social and productive activities involve both the individual and society
Chronological age: useful about making clear decision about whom to include as subjects
in a study, can also be an arbitrary marker/ can be a poor indicator of old age, or its
problematic because it lumps together people of widely varying generations into a single
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Social gerontologist sometimes define people as old according to the social role they play/
they are set expectation or guidelines for people who occupy given positions
Functional age: based on how people look and what they can do/ can be measure by
such normal physical changes as stiffness of joints, reduced skin.../ it may be determined
by appearance- three categories: well elderly (people who are healthy and active),
somewhat impaired elderly (those in a transitional stage, they are beginning to
experience chronic ailments and need some assistance), frail elderly ( they show some
mental and physical deterioration and rely on other for carrying out their daily activities
Subjective age : people who are successful in compensating for functional limitations
are able to maintain a subjective age identity/ your young as you feel. It also appear to
be influenced by social class/ health is the most important factor in determining
subjective age/ can also be influence by gender
Age change (occurs in individuals over time) age difference (ways one group differs from
another- we use the concept of cohort to differentiate age difference)
Cohort defined as aggregate of individuals who experience the same event within the
same time interval/ cohort aging is the continuous advancement of a cohort from one
age category to another over its life span
What creates cohort differences in aging :
oHistorical changes may be classified as belonging to a cohort according to
historical eras/ the experiences that members if a birth cohort share and that
shapes them throughout their lives = a cohort effect The oldest the swing
generation/ the silent generation/ baby boomers/ baby bust cohort/ echo boomers
oCompositional differences this can distinguish one cohort from another/ cohorts
vary in racial, gender, and ethnic composition, demographics (family size,
average age of marriage and life expectancy), family structure
Many forces shape the aging experience and these forces change across cohorts
Ageism : the set of beliefs about the aged/ it involves discrimination (which means people
are denied opportunities because they are old) and prejudice (refers to the negative
stereotypes about older people. It is also a tendency to patronize the elderly and be
overly solicitous towards them)
Ageist stereotypes are transmitted in a variety of ways television/ print media/ film
When we act on the basis of negative stereotypes- we engage in age discrimination/ one
of the most common occurs in the workplace
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