Lois C. Etete
Professor Mehdi Nazer
1. Discuss how different societies and technological factors influence how aging is viewed. 2. Analyze how the issue of aging is approached by the three major sociological paradigms. Identify which you agree with most and state why. Structural-functionalism draws its inspiration primarily from the ideas of Emile Durkheim. Durkheim was concerned with the question of how societies maintain internal stability and survive over time. He sought to explain social cohesion and stability through the concept of solidarity. In more "primitive" societies it was mechanical solidarity, everyone performing similar tasks that held society together. Durkheim proposed that such societies tend to be segmentary, being composed of equivalent parts that are held together by shared values, common symbols, or systems of exchanges. In modern, complex societies members perform very different tasks, resulting in a strong interdependence between individuals.
There is indeed inequality that is based on age, although gender and race or ethnicities are more significant indicators of stratification than age alone. Throughout the years there have been laws that prevented the elderly from working past the age of 65. However, the Age-Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 made such policies and laws illegal. The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is the largest lobbying group in the United States. (A lobbying group petitions Congress to pass laws favorable to the specific agenda of the group.) The AARP’s membership is composed of people over the age of 49 who, along with their younger spouses, pay ten dollars each year and in turn receive discounts on car rentals, vacations, hotels and motels, resorts, cruises, and insurance, among other things. Most members of the AARP are employed, and are not officially elderly. Along with Maggie Kuhn of the Grey Panthers—an organization whose goal is to...