Sociology of Aging Midterm

Psychological Aging
includes changes in personality, mental functioning and sense of self during the adult years
Social Aging
changes in people that occur along with or perhaps as the result of historical change
Societal Aging
demographic, structural and cultural transformations affects every aspect of social life from social institutions to the experiences of aging individuals
Chronological age
age measured by the time (years and months) that something or someone has existed
Functional age
a person’s physical and psychological well-being
Life stage
a segment of one’s life that spans specific ages, and in which a predictable pattern of growth an development occur.
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prejudice and discrimination against older people
the normal time between successive generations
a group people having approximately the same age
Generational Consciousness
generations characterized by common world views that distinguished it from other generations.
Social Gerontology
sub-field of gerontology that studies the non physical aspects of aging
Life course perspective
analyzes personal attributes, roles, life events, and social/historical aspects of events
life chances
the opportunities people have to provide themselves with material goods, positive living conditions, and favorable life experiences
Multiple jeopardy
occupying several disadvantaged positions simultaneously compounds or risk of negative outcomes in old age
Ecological fallacy
improper use of aggregate data to draw conclusions about the characteristics of individual cases or groups
Social construct
any idea or pattern of behavior that is created and sustained by human beings in the course of social interaction
state of being dissimilar, composition from unlike elements
older adults whose incomes fall between too high to qualify for “safety net” programs and are too poor to guarantee financial stability
Life History
A research method wherein the researcher listens to the telling of a life story for the purpose of understanding a particular aspect of an individual’s life
Event History Analysis
Analysis of the recall data provided by individuals about their life. The life pattern is usually characterized as being in one of a number of states (e.g. education)
Comparative Studies
use data from different sources in order to evaluate them against each other
one has little or no control over the allocation of the treatments or other factors being studied
age effects
the effect that aging has on the body
period effects
phenomenon in which a historical event or major social trend contributes to the unique shape and outlook of a birth cohort
cohort effects
Effects due to a person’s time of birth, era, or generation but not to actual age.
study dropouts, darwin’s theory
life course fallacy
interpreting age differences in data collected at one time across birth cohorts as if the differences were caused by the process of aging, without ruling out other possibilities
cohort sequential designs
combined longitudinal and cross-sectional approach; advantages of cross-sectional; also assesses potential cohort effects
secondary data analysis
Analysis of data collected by others.
erroneous assumption is made that future (or past) cohorts will age (have aged) in the same fashion as current cohorts under study
the period during which something is functional (as between birth and death)
life expectancy
the average age that a newborn infant can expect to attain in a particular time and place
demographic transition theory
main factors underlying population dynamics are industrialization and growth of modern cultural values
population pyramid
A bar graph representing the distribution of population by age and sex.
dependency ratio
The number of nonworking members compared to working members for a given population
modernization theory
a theory asserting that as societies developed they would take on a set of common characteristics including democracy and capitalism
human development
the scientific study of the changes that occur in people as they age from conception until death
An additional psychosocial stage–a cosmic and transcendent perspective directed forward and outward, beyond the self
structural lag
mismatch between changing expectations about aging and the inertia of social arrangements
fictive kinship
granting someone who is unrelated the title or rights of a family member
intimacy at a distace
emotional and social bonds between parents and children are maintained across households
inevitable aging
changes that automatically happen with age (hormone cycles, ect)
usual aging
things that happen to most people (wrinkling skin, hearing loss, ect)
pathological aging
stressors trigger seemingly age related ailments
successful aging
overall mind body and spirit health in terms of getting older
why would rapid aging of the population create social problems?
care for this new population, financial burden
micro social gerontology
behaviors attitudes and feelings shaped by personalities and one’s social situation
macro social gerontology
the organizations and institutions that create conditions requiring a response from individuals
micro life course perspective
personal development’s impact on decisions made in someones lifetime
macro life course perspective
social and historical factors impact on decisions made in someones lifetime
cumulative (dis)advantage
all of the factors that could help or hinder you (socioeconomic status, gender, race, ethnicity, ect)
difference between heterogenity and diversity?
heterogenity is differences in the older population, whereas diversity is based on social standing (race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ect.)
theories- what are they and what is their role in social research
“the driving force behind research”, dictating both the specific questions that need to be asked and the choice of the most appropriate analytical techniques to answer them.
event history analysis
attempts to address when in particular life events happens or in the social forces that shape its occurance, the frame of reference draws attention to a particular event of interest (retirement, enactment of new social policy, entry into a nursing home, divorce, ect.)
cohort sequential design
as one age group moves into a new cohort, their views change, but these views are mirrored for every other group in that same age cohort designation
important ethical issues in aging research
obligation to do no harm, most no coerce into participating, some older adults may bend the truth in fear of the possible repercussions
importance of population aging
means that the country is becoming more developed
three ways populations age
migration, mortality and fertility rates
life expectancy changes for m v. w
the types of jobs they have, less physically strenuous
crossover effect
less high risk behavior, and because women engage in more preventative medicine
young society
lots of young people, few older people, high mortality, high fertility
gender/race on life expectancy
whites highest, women highest, others lower
demographic transition theory
represents the transition from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates as a country develops from a pre-industrial to an industrialized economic system.
measures of population aging- proportioned aged
considers the proportion of a society that is older
measures of population aging- population pyramids
graphic illustration of the age and sex structure of a population, helps make predictions about the shape of our population pyramid in the future
measures of population aging- median ages
single numbers that are often used in conjunction with other measures of population aging
measures of population aging- aging index
ratio of older people to children under the age of 15
measures of population aging- dependency ratios
population that falls within are categories traditionally thought to be economically dependent: under 15, over 65.
measures of population aging- life expectancy
averaged length of time the member of a population can expect to live
how are other countries aging in comparison to the U.S.?
developing countries aging rapidly, modernized countries aging slowly
consequences of geographic distribution of the older population?
snowbirds (people who go south for the winter) take a toll on retailers and stores
recent and future changes to the racial and ethnic composition of the older adult population in the U.S.
growing, changing the social structure along with the rise of these non-white races
myths of American population, how do these myths mask diversity?
norman rockwell painting-eque ideas, hiding the truth about who is playing what role in their family, community, or otherwise
major developmental tasks in middle and old age?
figuring out how to balance leisure work and education
age norms, relation to the life course perspective
socially governened expectations and sanctions concerning the appropriateness of role acquisitions and behaviors as a function of chronological age
why is old age a “roleless role”?
they don’t hold much responsibility that isn’t for themselves
are age norms flexible?
Expectations about how a person of a certain age should behave,
age structure of modern American family, age-differentiated, age-integrated?
ideal is age differentiated, education work and leisure set aside for different times of life, realistically they’re age-integrated and people experience education work and leisure in all parts of their lives
modified extended family
a variety of relatives live, not necessarily in the same household but in very close proximity to one another, interact on a frequent basis, and provide emotional and economic support for one another.
late-life family
past child bearing/raising age
core norms and expectations of family relationships
how close is the normal american family, spouses go into room without asking permission, parents go into kids room without asking permission
key familial relationships
sisters, brothers, spouses, parents, grandparents, ect
what happens to marital satisfaction over the life course?
timing, gender-related norms, dependency of marriage depends on the generation born in and the social norms of marriage then
old society
lots of older people, less young people, low mortality, low fertility