CH 5 - CHAPTER 5: AGING AND INEQUALITY Aging Gerontology- a...

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CHAPTER 5: AGING AND INEQUALITY Aging Gerontology- a branch of social sciences dealing with aging and the elderly Life course - socially constructed stages that people pass through as they live out their lives. Changing Position of Elderly Pre-industrial societies- gerontocracy –the a social system that give the oldest members the most wealth, power, and prestige. Considered wise and respected, and have more wealth than young; The social elite Industrial societies - viewed as social problems Rising numbers globally, less valued for knowledge, guidance and skills. Young had more wealth than elderly 20 th century- more financial security, but still devalued by youth and media Life Expectancy The number of years, on average, people in a society can expect to live US Males 74 years, Female 80 years (and increasing) Greater in high income nations, lower in poorest nations By 2025 people aged 54 and older will outnumber young people age 14-24 years Graying of the United States Elderly increasing in population and young people staying about the same o Affects everyone o Seniors more visible in everyday life o Young people will spend more time and $ caring for parents and grandparents o Sandwich generation -caring for children and parents Elders: A Diverse Population Three levels of old o Younger old: 65-74 (good health, live alone) o Older old: 75-84 (need support services) o Oldest old: 85 and older (need most help) o 60,000 centenarians (over 100 years) in US, 83% women Problems of Aging Social isolation is the most common serious problem of elderly: o 16% elderly men live alone compared to 40% of women (women live longer and men remarry more). Society frowns on older women marrying younger men. Family- Primary Support Most elderly have a least one adult child within ten miles Half of adult children who live nearby visit their parents at least once a week Daughter more likely to visit regularly Ageism Ageism- prejudice and discrimination directed against the elderly
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CH 5 - CHAPTER 5: AGING AND INEQUALITY Aging Gerontology- a...

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