Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 4 » Social Theories - Social Theories Of Aging Individuals, Social Theories Of Population Patterns, Age As A Cultural Construct And The Study Of Age As A Cultural Practice

Social Theories - Summary

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In sum, then, age is a characteristic of individuals, but it can also be treated as a characteristic of both populations and of social and cultural systems. While these are analytically distinct phenomena, they are related. Consequently, the explanations of age-related outcomes have some commonality across these different types of outcomes. While few dispute that social forces play a significant role in producing age-related outcomes, the precise magnitude of that role and the mechanisms through which social effects occur are difficult to specify with precision. Thus, whatever the specific phenomenon being studied, debates involving the potency of these social theories of aging are likely to continue for some time to come.

DALE DANNEFER

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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CUMMING, E., and HENRY, W. E. Growing Old. New York: Basic Books, 1961.

DANNEFER, D. ‘‘Aging As Intracohort Differentiation: Accentuation, the Matthew Effect, and the Life Course.’’ Sociological Forum 2 (1987): 211–235.

DANNEFER, D. ‘‘Differential Gerontology and the Stratified Life Course: Conceptual and Methodological Issues.’’ In Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Vol. 8. Edited by G. L. Maddox and M. P. Lawton. New York: Springer. 1988. Pages 3–36.

DANNEFER, D., and UHLENBERG, P. ‘‘Paths of the Life Course: A Typology.’’ In Handbook of Theories of Aging. Edited by V. L. Bengston and K. W. Schale. New York: Springer, 1999.

EASTERLIN, R. Birth and Fortune. New York: Basic Books, 1980.

ELDER, G. H., JR. Children of the Great Depression. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1998.

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HOGAN, D. Transitions and Social Change: The Early Lives of American Men. New York: Academic Press, 1981.

KATZ, S. Disciplining Old Age: The Formation of Gerontological Knowledge. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press, 1996.

KUYPERS, J., and BENGTSON, V. L. ‘‘Perspectives On The Older Family.’’ In Independent Aging: Family and Social Systems Perspectives. Edited by W. H. Quinn and C. A. Houghston. Rockville, Md.: Aspen Systems, 1984.

MORSS, J. R. The Biologising of Childhood: Developmental Psychology and the Darwinian Myth. East Sussex, U.K.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1990.

NEUGARTEN, B. L., and HAGESTAD, G. O. ‘‘Age and the Life Course.’’ In Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. Edited by R. H. Binstock and E. Shanas. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1976. Pages 35–55.

RILEY, M. W.; JOHNSON, M. E.; and FONER, A. Aging and Society, Vol. III: A Sociology of Age Stratification. New York: Russell Sage, 1972.

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WARING, J. ‘‘Social Replenishment and Social Change.’’ American Behavioral Scientist 19 (1975): 237–256.

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