Functionalists on age inequality

Cowgill, D. As societies modernize, the status of elders decreases, and they are increasingly likely to experience social exclusion. Functionalists believe that age inequalities are an inevitable part of modern societies and have a valuable function in ensuring that the best and most able workers get the best jobs and opportunities.

modernization theory of aging

If the Marxists are correct, the growing number of elderly people in Western, capitalist societies will therefore present a huge challenge to capitalism in the years to come.

At some point, this competition may become conflict. What is difficult and stressful for youths?

perspectives on aging

Aging and Society. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Activity theory of aging articles

By the end of this section, you will be able to: Compare and contrast sociological theoretical perspectives on aging What roles do individual senior citizens play in your life? Equal education regardless of gender, ethnicity, class etc. Dowd, James J. As societies modernize, the status of elders decreases, and they are increasingly likely to experience social exclusion. The suggestion that old age was a distinct state in the life course, characterized by a distinct change in roles and activities, was groundbreaking when it was first introduced. However, some Marxists have also pointed out the benefit to capitalist societies of elderly people being dependant on welfare: When the proletariat are dependent on the ruling State, this legitimises the power of the State. It is often criticized for affording too much emphasis to material exchange and devaluing nonmaterial assets such as love and friendship. The Marxist-Feminist perspective; however, viewed qualities for men and women as to being dependent on social conditions rather than being inherited Their argument for this is that an unequal distribution of rewards and privileges found in the class system allows for its most talented members Functionalism and Marxism. A woman whose main interactions with society make her feel old and unattractive may lose her sense of self. If the Marxists are correct, the growing number of elderly people in Western, capitalist societies will therefore present a huge challenge to capitalism in the years to come.

Townsend argues that capitalist societies feel the need to constantly renew the workforce, on the understanding that young people are more productive. Now, as societies industrialize, the nuclear family replaces the extended family.

Age stratification theory

Theories in the conflict perspective concentrate on how elders, as a group, are at odds with other groups in society. In studying the experiences of aging and factors that shape aging, including behaviors, biology, health, culture, history, economics, and technology, researchers are promoting healthy aging and helping dispel stereotypes. Therefore, this withdrawal allows a greater freedom from the pressure to conform. The suggestion that old age was a distinct state in the life course, characterized by a distinct change in roles and activities, was groundbreaking when it was first introduced. Much less the marginalised, the weak, sick, elderly, widowed, physically disabled, mentally ill and the people who are discriminated against every day in society for ethnicity, age, gender, locality, marital status, sexual orientation, religion and caste discrimination creates vulnerabilities and barriers that instigate social exclusion. In this model, the only means to avoid being discarded is to engage in resource management, like maintaining a large inheritance or participating in social exchange systems via child care. Functionalism Functionalists analyze how the parts of society work together. The functionalist view of social stratification is being inevitable and also to perform a positive function for society. This is an attempt to maintain social equilibrium and stability by making future decisions on the basis of already developed social roles Atchley ; Atchley The ethnic penalty is the additional disadvantage faced by ethnic minorities in gaining and maintaining employment. Outline the evidence that some ethnic minorities are disadvantaged in the contemporary UK [20] The workplace tends to be where disadvantage is most clearly evidenced in any society and this does appear to be case for ethnic disadvantage in the UK. Unfortunately, School League Table and recent surveys show opposite.

So why should it matter that the elderly prison population is growing so swiftly? Interpretivists argue that age is a social construct and the role of the elderly or young in a society is part of the social structure, but is not fixed or inevitable: Aries points out that little distinction was made between age groups in medieval times.

functionalist perspective on age

Much less the marginalised, the weak, sick, elderly, widowed, physically disabled, mentally ill and the people who are discriminated against every day in society for ethnicity, age, gender, locality, marital status, sexual orientation, religion and caste discrimination creates vulnerabilities and barriers that instigate social exclusion.

Parsons Part 2 Undertake certain roles at certain times in our lives What are the roles key for? Ethnicity appears to be a decisive factor in the level of employment a person may be likely to achieve in the UK, with the Labour Force Survey clearly demonstrating that Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi men are substantially less likely to be in the highest two social class groupings than white, Chinese or Indian men similar patterns are identified for women.

Functionalists on age inequality

The suggestion that old age was a distinct state in the life course, characterized by a distinct change in roles and activities, was groundbreaking when it was first introduced. Atchley, R. Before industrialization, strong social norms bound the younger generation to care for the older. Indeed, inasmuch as relationships are based on mutual exchanges, as the elderly become less able to exchange resources, they will see their social circles diminish. Cumming and Henry the way society treats the old What are the elderly encouraged to do? Most notably of these types will be the main groups that consist of socialist feminists, liberal feminists, and radical feminists. To truly understand inequality, one has to understand how these variables interrelate alongside how each operates individually. Some of the earliest and most influential theories which gerontology used are, the disengagement theory, activity theory, and the modernization theory. In advocating for themselves, they help shape public policy and alter the allotment of available resources. However, a counter-argument would be that it is worse for society to have high levels of young employment among young people, when old people can be maintained through state pensions. Because age serves as a basis of social control, different age groups will have varying access to social resources such as political and economic power. Bengtson, and J.
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Sample Essays: Age/Ethnic Inequalities