CHAPTER 8AGE GROUPSChapter Summary Canadians are not only living longer, but they are living more complex lives than earlier generations. One of the consequences of greater life expectancy is that more generations are co-existing. While inter-generational strife may develop, opportunities for inter-generational alliances also exist. Like race, gender, and class, age is an important source of difference: those at opposite ends of the age spectrum have less power and fewer resources than the middle-aged. It is important to understand that both the young and the old can be victimized by age-related discrimination.According to functionalists, the elderly gradually disengage from their social roles; this allows their replacement by younger workers. Symbolic interactionists, on the other hand, note that the elderly take on new roles as they age. Critical theorists point out that that the elderly are pushed out of the workforce rather than leave voluntarily.Both the young and the old have specific health concerns. While the elderly generally enjoy better mental health than young and middle-aged people, they do suffer from numerous physical ailments.The young and the old share a sad commonality: Due to their physical frailty and dependence, they are both vulnerable to domestic violence.Learning Objectives In this chapter, you willlearn how population age is measured and the ways in which it is influenced by fertility, mortality, and immigration;recognize that Canada’s population is aging more quickly than that of many other countries;identify the ways in which aging and age groups change in response to changes in demography and society; and,recognize the concerns of an aging society.Key Termsageism: All types of prejudice or discrimination against members of society based on an individual’s age, whether old or young.