Textbook Notes (367,747)
Canada (161,363)
HLTC22H3 (102)
Anna Walsh (49)
Chapter 3


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Health Studies
Anna Walsh

Theories of Aging Chapter 3 +Lecture Notes Refer to Lecture for images! Theory: Can be thought of as a set of lenses for viewing actions and interactions To help us make sense of what we observe Can be used to help a researcher choose his or her research methods, questions, and the sample to focus on To construct explicit explanations that account for empirical findings Theory vs. other aspects of knowledge development: 1. Statements describing regularities detected in the process of systematic observations 2. Prototypical models are formed which attempt to depict how empirical generalizations are related to each other 3. Empirical generalizations and models are accumulated and use to form theories Theory in Gerontology Early gerontologists looked for conceptual frameworks that might explain human aging by looking at popular and ancient models In gerontology, no one theory can explain all the facts about aging Researchers often use a combination of theoretical perspectives to gain a fuller understanding of their research topic Two levels of theory: - micro-level theories= focus on individuals - macro-level theories= examine social structures Anthropology: Anthropology seeks to understand human existence in geographic space and evolutionary time Comparisons across time and cultures are central to the discipline Age as a cultural construct Theories of Aging Method Ethnography fieldwork and participant observation Contributed to findings such as: The killing of frail elderly was not rare (Simmons 1945) Elders provided education by sharing knowledge in the Kalahari Desert in the absence of formal teachers and schools (Shostak 1981) Anthropological Perspectives on Aging Early theoretical formulations linked the marginalization of older people to modernization More current frameworks are informed by: Contexts in which older adults live Special populations Complexity and heterogeneity of difference experiences Cultural context Age vs. Aging Theories about age explain cultural and social phenomena Theories about aging are theories about living, the changes experienced during the life course, and the interdependencies throughout life among the different generations Cultural Conceptions of Time and Age Relative time things, events, are ordered in time but we dont have a precise measurement or span Absolute time - involves measurement and is the imposition of culture on natural regularitiesTheories of Aging Relative Age Absolute Age Informal Age-ambiguous Age-aware Knowledge of Age Formal Age-forced Age-explicit Knowledge of Age contexts Culture and Age structuring: How a society organizes the interdependency between people of the same and different ages is the structuring of the life course as individuals pass through that society from birth to death Problems of Aging Across time and cultures, for most of humanities existence old age has not been a society wide problem Since humans have been able to sustain long lives physically and culturally, old age has had its problems Poverty Dis
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