|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Statistics Population Community health Lifespan development|
By definition, aging represents a state of collapse or decline in body performance and functionality. Aging is a natural phenomenon that is accompanied by years. Therefore, as the body grows old, its cells wear out, leading to failures in organs and body parts. Although it is perceived as a natural process, there are various dimensions of these concepts both from philosophical, biological, as well as medical viewpoints that have led to the development of theories to uncover the phenomena. Globally, ageism has been understood with varying conceptions, which further dictates how old persons are related to the whole community. Pathath (2017) pointed out that, despite the common understanding of aging in society – physical and physiological transitions that define consequential loss, inactivity, status loss, and income loss, aged persons are seen as a source of respect, authority, power, and wisdom. In such, all multi-dimensional models underline that biological systems give insight into global aging. The concept of global aging has turned out to be the essential concept influencing societal development during the late centuries. The paper, therefore, provides an insight into how population aging has been theorized, including global trends, the importance of these theories, the stratification of aging, and stereotypes linked to aging.
Aging Trend and Influence to the Society
As the world records declining fertility on one side, the other hand reveals an increasing life expectancy level. The scenario behind these trends is simply due to economic constraints and globalization influencing life statuses. As the population pressure buildup in the world hit harshly by financial situations, individuals are forced to have small families that are manageable. Accordingly, due to the influence of globalization and modernization, healthcare systems provide high-quality services that give an assurance to a quality life, leading to prolonged life expectancy. According to the review by Nikolova (2016), the anticipation of global trends aged above 60 years by 2050 will be about 2 billion people. Since aging is associated with multidimensional processes, its influence is significant in both the development and growth of society.
The impact of aging on society is so magnificent that it can never be assumed. By this, as a large population of people old rises, a decline in the workforce, reduced fertility, and a rise in dependency ratio is seen. Accordingly, as the number of aged people increases, the pending by the governments on passion increases, which curtail the regular operation of the economy. According to the review by Morgan and Kunkel (2016), advancement in societal aging greatly disrupts social security. For instance, many eligible individual pension means more spending, if the governments will not have other means of providing necessity to these individuals, resources that could otherwise be used to fuel economic growth and infrastructural developments will be channeled to such dockets. In such a situation, the society will experience a deficit in essential resources as more funds are being used to sustain the aged population. Besides, because the ability of older adults to reproduces is limited, the world experiences a shortage of young people who are at the maximum potential of production. With fewer people working in society, limited development is a definite expectation.
With the aged limited ability to work, they tend to be a burden on the fewer working population. As it has been defined, an aging population has a broad dimension ranging from physical, psychological, as well as social content. However, the primary outcome of all aspects of ageism is similar; all are linked to limited physical activities and health complications (Morgan & Kunkel, 2016). therefore, there is a noticeable reduction in the production rate, which means that all the necessities that they require are to be provided by the working population or government programs. Accordingly, there is a direct effect of these associations, especially on a small working population; poverty strikes.
To salvage the situation, governments across the world increase their lending abilities from external sources leading to unsustainable outcomes (Pathath, 2017). Due to these, nations turn to impose heavy taxes and revenues on essential commodities to increase their repaying capability. Consequently, adding to the already harsh economic situations charged by the increased dependency ratio, society's ability to purchase such products is reduced further, leading to poverty. Acquisition of requirements such as education, healthcare insurance, and proper dietary becomes an issue, and development generally collapses.
Significance of Social Theories of Aging
Various theories have been drawn by many scholars to explain the concept behind the aging population. Among these are social theories such as disengagement, continuity, activity, age satisfaction, environmental fit, and modernization which provide an insight into how aging is critical in the global population.
Disengagement and Modernization Theories
The model postulates that as people age, they tend to disengage from the previous roles they were doing. In such, they become more passive as they put their concentration on their own lives. Aged people are faced with various challenges, with one dominant issue being the vulnerability to chronic conditions. Therefore, older adults become more worried and adopt a characteristic behavior of attending their situations. According to this theory, individuals tend to lose interest in a social status due to the conception of nearing death.
Basing on the modernization theory on ageism, Miah, (2019) argues that modernization is a recipe for aging. Old persons extend their social status through living a comfortable life resulting in longevity. This theory postulates that as the state of the society become more modernized, the direct positive effect is perceived by these group of individuals leading to dimensional outcome in health, household situations, and independence among others. Consequently, the transition in life taken by this group of people, therefore, are much dependent on the extent of modernization. By definition, modernization can be described by a significant change in social, economic, and infrastructural development influencing the social status of individuals. In such, an advanced level of socialization provides a sense of assurance to increased life promotion to such groups’ hence resulting in varied outcomes.
Importance of Social Aging Theories
Although many theories have been postulated, their basic concept of ageism is similar hence provide a general view of aging among the world population. Aging has widely been described under various dimensions and contexts; however, through learning from these social models, a greater understanding of life is relayed. For instance, how the development of the body occurs can be further classified under the different dimensions of ageism. Accordingly, through such provision, interpretation at every specific life course is possible. Besides, basing on these theories, experiences, and challenges encountered by the group are critical in unveiling the origin of social construction in society (Pathath, 2017).
By learning these models, they can progressively outline how aged persons gradually withdraws from the normality to a more passive state. Considering this, the roles of older people are described in all these models displaying their increasing efforts in the adaptation of new ways. Because these theories highlight challenges that are accompanied by a growing number of the aged population who are constantly shifting from a more productive state to a more dependent one, they provide insights to which interventions can be taken (Miah, 2019). An instance case is a discrimination arising from the ageism. The models critically analyze how younger people in society start to discriminate against aged individuals providing a guideline in which necessary actions are enforceable. In such, harmful myths that are related to these groups of people are in elimination, creating a condition favorable for both the young and aged.
Miah (2016) suggested a proper understanding of the social theories on ageism uncover how political process and societal changes influence aging. Individuals have been underlined to have an inherent nature of adjusting to changes that arise in society. Therefore, the models highlight how such patterns, especially modernization, influence population aging. By these provisions, necessary measures can be taken to meet the challenges that always arise when older adults dominate the community.
Accordingly, since aging is inevitable, other models, such as the gerontology theory provide the means through which the society should embrace such changes. Aging underlines all sectors of the community, which calls for a quick replacement of the age-worn out population. Through a critical analysis of the theory, continuity of society's functionality is seen despite the general disagreement with the aged. Means through which young labor force are endorsed into full-pledged professional are unraveled only by understanding the concept of gerontology social model (Morgan & Kunkel, 2016).
Key Points on Age Stratification Theory
The concept of aging has widely been contested with various scholars assessing the reliance of these theories. Age strata, as having been radically described by Pathath (2017), is the basis of social gerontology, which has been dictated by the availability of the varying amount of resources at distinct ages. The role individual cohort plays are also characterized by the powers they hold, which arise from these age variations. Age structure and relations altogether make up the community structure as they attribute to energy to interpret social systems. To relate how age stratification impacts in societal development, an analysis between various stratification is critical. According to Morgan and Kunkel (2016), age may differentiate class just like social class differentiates age groups.
In such, the theory, therefore, postulates that social and class stratification are not in correspondence. Likewise, they each possess a multidimensional basis in which no one none is of greater essence than the other. Accordingly, to the overlap of various stratifications across the population, adequate analysis of age stratification during the early stage is impossible due to colliding forces. According to this model, the primary argument arising in the context is that individuals in the community may be stratified by age. The basis of these arguments is rooted in the fact that gender, race, and class significantly stratify society members. The description of different social groups in a population is rooted in age. Therefore, the social context engaged by various groups of individuals defines the kind of resources they acquire, the power they possess, and, consequently, the control they will have in developing the society. Accordingly, age strata shape the role to which individuals takes in the community, this is because as individual get old or progressively move from one age group to another, their norms are also changed (Morgan & Kunkel, 2016)). For instance, it becomes morally uncomfortable in the manner in which aged females are perceived by society when they dress in a sexually provocative way, and this shapes their norms by denying them their sexual expression. However, this is contrary to the expectation of how society views young women, thereby letting age stratification to drive the structure of society.
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