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Issues of the Elderly

By Chakia213 Jan 16, 2012 938 Words
1. Age stratification theory comes from the functionalist perspective. In a functionalist perspective the shared rules of behavior and the expectations for a certain behavior in a social situation both come together and shape an individual's behavior. Age stratification theory is a term where society a society provides older people with certain roles to play and with expectations about acitivity in later life. In sum age stratification theory states that norms are an aspect of how, when, and why a person ages as they do. This theory does however, have some limits. Age stratification theory looks at people as one big group instead of as seperate people or as individuals. It fails to include things such as the gender and/or race of the person which can and sometimes will influence a person. Instead age stratification theory assumes that society is all the same and experience much of the same things, when in fact we all know is incorrect. It needs to be made clear that people from all over the world can be in the same cohort but have completely different experiences in their lifetime. Secondly, age stratification theory does not discuss issues that could arise between different social groups. One example would be the battle over economic resources, such as the spending of social security programs for the elderly versus giving federal aid to those families with young children. There is a theory that older people are thought of as burdens to both their famiies and the health care system, which allows people to instantly feel remorse for the younger groups. Lastly, the age stratification theory needs to look at how an individual is affected by societal impact, not just how society effects the individual. In the United States age cohorts go as follows: old age, middle age, young adulthood, adolescene and childhood. The cohort emphasizes that each individual in a particular age group go through the same life courses and events in their lifetime. As i stated before this is not always the case due to things such as race and financial situations. For example, a young single mother with two young children may have to work more than one job in order to stay afloat. While, on the other hand, an older happily married wife with two children may not have to work at all. This goes to show that although each age group may have some similar life events it is not always the circumstances. It is also important to note that as life goes on so do the generations. The generation of today is expected to follow the same roles and/or norms of the last generation but this is a new generation. For instance, children were once thought of to be innocent in the past generations with things such as respecting their bodies, staying in school and obeying their elders. In today's generation i have seen girls as young as 13 who are pregnant, boys as young as 8 experimenting with drugs, and can attest to numerous accounts of teenagers mocking and disrespecting the elderly. The times have changed. 2. The political economy theory emphasizes the impact histoy and economics have on an individual, looking at things such as race, class, and gender. In 1979 Estes decided to look at the welfare system, only to discover that the people with the most power when dealing with the neccessities of the older people were those of the middle class. This arises a problem because the older people ultimately have no reign on their lives. It also fails to look at the effects of the individual when dealing with their own life. 3. The life course perspective encompasses normative events, normative history-graded events, and normative age-graded events which allow the individual to move on to different life stages. Non-normative events are events that cannot be predicted. It differs from the others because it is different for each individual. Normative history-graded events affects a large group in a similar way, which in turn can help shape an entire generation. Normative history-graded events are similar to non-normative events because they both can happen at any time. Normative age-graded events deal with physical changes and expectations of society. Like non-normative events, these events can be personal for the individual. When compared to normative-history graded events they are also similar because they can be experienced by numerous people. Normative age-graded events differ from the other two events because they can be controlled by the individual.

4. Normative age-graded events are when certain life tasks are expected during a certain time frame such as marriage, child-bearing, and retirement. All of which help transition an individual on to the next life event.

Non-normative history-graded events are events that spark a historical uproar and shape an individuals life. It is an event no one has control over and where people everywhere will feel almost exactly the same and will remember for most of their lifetimes. A classic example of this would be September 11, with the terriost attacks. People will remember where they were when they heard the news. Also, no one had any control over the situation and now we have a national day of mourning.

Non-normative events are those events that are not expected and can impair an individual's overall function while at the same time straining their relationship with others. Some examples include losing a loved one, a car accident, or getting laid off from work all of which are unexpected and cound hinder an individual's life.

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