By Christina R. Victor

Old age is part of the lifecycle approximately which there are many myths and stereotypes. to give an overstatement of quite often held ideals, the outdated are portrayed as based contributors, characterised by way of an absence of social autonomy, unloved and missed by means of either their rapid friends and family; and posing a hazard to the dwelling criteria of more youthful age teams by means of being a 'burden' that consumes with no generating. Older individuals are perceived as a unmarried homogeneous workforce, and the scan of growing old characterised as being an identical for all contributors, without reference to the variety in their situations ahead of the onset of previous age. during this e-book, specific statistical fabric is used to painting the circum­ stances of older humans in sleek society in an try and review the appropriateness (or in a different way) of the key stereotypes of later existence. This quantity doesn't tackle growing old from a mental or micro-social consistent with­ spective. specifically, we don't discover significant matters when it comes to outdated age. particularly we suppose that, from the large choice of surveys serious about the aged, we will offer a context during which person eld­ erly humans may be studied from extra anthropological or biographical perspectives.

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Thus, given the heterogeneous nature of the elderly population, this perspective is of only limited utility as a conceptual framework. AGE STRATIFICATION THEORY Society is often conceptualized as being stratified, or divided, along a number of dimensions such as social class or ethnic status. Age stratification theory uses chronological age as the defining variable (Riley, 1971; Riley, Johnson and Foner, 1972). Thus the elderly, teenagers and the middle-aged are seen as distinctive status groups.

Furthermore the usefulness of this approach is weakened by the use of chronological age rather than 'actual' ageing speeds of the members of the cohorts. This is very much a macroscale approach to the study of ageing for, whilst it tells us about the attributes of different cohorts, it is of 42 Approaches to the study of ageing limited value in explaining individual behaviour. This approach can often be seen as being deterministic and allowing little freedom of action for the individual social actor.

5. Society consists of social actors pursuing common goals. In pursuit of these goals actors enter into social relationships with other actors. Participating in such interactions entails costs such as time or effort. In order to achieve their goals actors will pay these costs. All actors seek to minimize costs and maximize gains. Only interactions which are economic will be preserved. From this perspective Dowd (1980) interprets interaction between groups or individuals as an attempt to maximize rewards and minimize costs.

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