Ashford Soc 304 Discussions

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Week 1- Dis 1
After reading Chapter 3 in your textbook, address the following: a. Discuss the differences between activity theory and disengagement theory. b. Compare and contrast one of the other theories mentioned in the chapter (i.e., modernization, exchange theory, subcultural theory of aging, etc.) to activity theory and disengagement theory. c. Discuss how the theory that you selected differs from the activity and disengagement theories of aging. d. Contact a person who would fall into one of the categories of old age (i.e., young old, middle old, or oldest old) and interview them about how their lives have changed since they reached the milestone of being an older adult. In your post, include a brief synopsis of what you learned with regard to that person’s activities, illnesses, social support networks, and employment situation. Based upon your informed opinion, which theory (or theories) provides the best theoretical framework for understanding the process of aging for the person that you interviewed? Be sure to support your answer.

Activity theory reminds me of the saying ‘You are as young as you feel’. The activity theory focuses on the individual person and feeling you in your older years. I feel it is important to keep up with the current times. Our required text states that "continued activity in old age preserves self-concept and ensures higher levels of life satisfaction” (Markson & Stein, 2012). Unlike activity theory, disengagement theory focuses on society as well as the individual. The text sums it best by stating, “A disengaged person is not inactive, however, but often maintains a high level of activity in smaller numbers and varieties of social roles” (Markson & Stein). 

“According to modernization theory, as a society moves from a rural, agrarian-based society to an urban, technology-based system, older people's leadership roles, power, and influence decrease” (Markson & Stein). Modernization and disengagement theory both focus on individual and society. Activity theory is based on the individual. When I think of the modernization theory I think of older people staying in one place while the world keeps going. At least with the disengagement theory the older people have a small amount of activity that involves around the community. Activity theory allows the older people to move with time.

I was able to interview my next door neighbor. She would fit under the middle old category. I gathered that even if you would like to remind activity in your older age, health issues can prevent you from doing so. As your age, your bones, flexible, energy and lungs may stop you from doing several things. She has Arthritis which limits her ability to move around. At one time she was able to ride her lawnmower to cut her grass, now she has to pay someone. She worked as a teacher for over 30 years and is now retired. She retired not because it was time, but her health would not allow her to keep up with the students. Social support is very important to her. Most of her socializing happens at church functions and family gathers. Her family and church is a huge part of her network. The modernization theory would best assist with understanding the process of aging.

After interviewing my neighbor, I found that she accomplish several things in her early years. As the world change, it is okay for the younger society to have the power. Especially after living and working hard day after day,

Markson, E. W. & Stein, P. J. (2012). Social gerontology: Issues & prospects. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Dis 2
For this discussion, you will need to read Chapters 1 and 2 in your textbook. In addition, you will need to review pages 10 through 13 of Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences and pages 62 and 63 of Aging, Society, and the Life Course.

As your textbook notes, historical events can have different impacts depending upon...
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