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Chapter 12

SOCA02- SCP; Chapter 12.docx

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Sheldon Ungar

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SOCA02- SCP; Chapter 12 - median age of world's population = 28 yrs - median age of Canada's population = 39 yrs - youngest population is in Uganda with median age of 15 yrs - oldest population is in Japan with median age of 43 yrs - gerontology (Elie Metchnikoff): scientific study of aging  social gerontology: study on social aspects of aging; originally focused solely on 65 yrs and older, but today concept of aging has been added to focus on the aged  "apocalyptic demography"- labeling of older people as a societal burden; 5 assumptions:  all older people are pension-rich- "greedy geezers"  older adults are responsible for the debt and imminent collapse of healthcare system  older population constitutes a social problem that must be solved  intergenerational conflict will occur as older adults get more than their fair share at expense of younger generations  population change and politics will combine when aging of population becomes a tool for social policy reform based on cuts to welfare state - any population with >10% of population over age 65 is an old population  Canada has the oldest population in the Americas (13%)  Japan, Italy, and Germany has the highest proportions of older adults in the world (over 19%)  population of older adults is itself aging in 65 yrs and older group - WHO released the Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide to help cities adapt its structures and services to suit needs of older people; key features of city living:  outdoor spaces and buildings  transportation  housing  social participation  respect and social inclusion  civic participation and employment  communication and information  community support and health services - main factor accounting for population aging in Canada is declining fertility (1.5 children/women)  fertility level peaked at 4 children/woman following WW2 - LE increased from late 19 century – 20 century as result of conquest of infectious diseases, better nutrition, improved sanitation, an factors related to family structure such as family size - Canada ranked 6 in terms of LE at birth for males and 7 for females among 15 countries - immigration has a significant effect on growth and diversity of Canada's population and helps to meet certain labour force requirements  however it is difficult to predict extent to which immigrants help slow aging of population due to national policies of other countries, and immigrants arrive when are about 30 yrs old and continue to age along with rest of population - slightly more than half of people in Canada are female, and so is # of 65 yrs and older  LE between women and men have begin to narrow and so gender composition at older ages is expected to equalize in future  half of women's incomes come from government transfers in old ages - Aboriginal population is aging more slowly because of gradual increase in LE despite declining birth rates  4% of Aboriginal were 65 yrs and older  Inuit had youngest population  aging trends is of concern because elders serve as link to traditional culture through use of language- older adults are 2x likely to speak an Aboriginal language; languages will become extinct as they pass away - structural view of aging: age stratification theory  age strata, age-related capacities, social roles, and age-related expectations  cohort flow- fertility, mortality, and migration factors as they apply to a cohort as it moves from one stratum to another  individual aging- physiological changes that occur over time  role allocation- assigning and reassigning of people of different ages to appropriate roles depending on variety of social, economic, and cultural factors  socialization- internalization of age stratification system, causing us to adopt our age-based roles as we move through strata  criticism on static nature of strata - aging and society paradigm argues that in the future, age-based distinctions will be removed from society so that everyone will live in an age-integrated society and can interact freely together - structural view of aging (Cowgill and Holmes): modernization theory  status of the aged deteriorates with modernization of society  1. health tech improves and increases LE  older population  intergenerational competition for job  retirement and marginalization of old  economic modernization  specialized jobs  young people securing jobs  retirement of old  migration of young to cities  elderly left behind in rural areas  old have less education than current high school education level achieved by their children  claim on knowledge and wisdom no longer valid  little scientific evidence - integration of individual and structural views: life course perspective, feminist theory, critical theory, successful/productive aging (themes) - the life course perspective; 5 principles:  lifelong development and aging- life course is composed of a set of multiple trajectories such as career, school, and work, punctuated with events, transitions, and turning points; individua
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