introduction to sociology l.
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INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY. AGING AND HEALTH. THE WORLD’S POPULATION IS GETTING OLDER. American children born in 1990 have a life expectancy of 78 years (Natl. Center for Health Statistics-07) 2000 yrs ago, the average newborn Roman baby could expect to live to the age of 22.

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the world s population is getting older
  • American children born in 1990 have a life expectancy of 78 years (Natl. Center for Health Statistics-07)
  • 2000 yrs ago, the average newborn Roman baby could expect to live to the age of 22
the population is aging
The Population is Aging
  • In 1800 the average person’s chance of living to the age of 100 was roughly 1 in 20 million-today it’s 1 in 50
  • By 2030 there will be more elderly people than young people in the U.S.
the population is aging4
The Population is Aging
  • The young-old(65-74)
  • The old-old (75-84)
  • The oldest-old (85 and older)
what is aging
What is Aging??
  • Sociologically aging is the combination of biological, psychological and social processes that affect people as they grow older
biological aging
Biological Aging
  • Biological aging typically means things like:
  • declining vision
  • Hearing loss
  • Wrinkles
  • Decline of muscle mass/accumulation of fat
  • Drop in cardiovascular efficiency

***These changes can be offset in part by health, diet and exercise

psychological aging
Psychological Aging
  • These effects are much less well established than physical effects
  • We assume memory, learning, intelligence, skills and motivation decline but this is a more complex issue
  • Memory and learning ability don’t decline significantly until very late in life although speed of recall may slow
social aging
Social Aging
  • Refers to the norms, values and roles that are culturally associated with a chronological age
  • These ideas differ from society to society and change over time
functionalist theories of aging
Functionalist theories of aging
  • Disengagement theory-it is functional for society to remove people from their traditional roles when they become elderly
activity theory
Activity Theory
  • Elderly people who are busy and engaged, can be functional for society; the elderly can best serve society by being active
conflict theory and aging
Conflict theory and Aging
  • The elderly can be seen as competing with the young for increasingly scarce resources
  • Among the elderly, those who fare worse economically are women, low-income folks and “minorities”
symbolic interactionist perpectives and aging
Symbolic Interactionist perpectives and Aging
  • We modify our behavior through the life course-we adapt to the changing expectations of our culture
  • Continuity theory- older adults can substitute satisfying new roles for those they’ve lost.