Age inequalities

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  • Inequalities (AGE)
    • European law made Age Discrimination Illegal...
      • ...however
        • MORI (2002)
          • 38% have experienced age discrimination at work
        • Vincent (2006)
          • Life expectancy favours women
            • but women are affected by more material disadvantage
              • continued into old age
    • Functionalism
      • Changes to legislation and attitudes are inevitable as part of modernisation
        • laws restricting employment of children and the elderly...
          • ...help society to modernise
        • universal pension provision...
          • ...help society to modernise
      • Henry (1961)
        • old age means disengagement from society
          • marginalise the elderly to make room for the young
          • must be gradual so the elderly can adapt
      • Parsons (1954)
        • age is vital in acquiring social roles
          • teenage= transitioning
          • old age= isolation, loneliness and dependancy
      • Eisenstaedt (1956)
        • Differential age groups enable people to learn and acquire new social roles, helping them contribute to society cohesion and solidarity
      • criticisms
        • Functionalist studies are done by middle- class, US males.
          • lack generalisability
        • The role of the elderly results from social construction, and social structure  
          • not disengagement
        • Neglects issues of class, gender, ethnicity
    • Marxism
      • Age restrictions on work were created to manage the supply of labour
        • The problem of the growing number of elderly is a problem of the distributions of wealth in a capitalist society
      • The problem of the growing number of elderly is a problem of the distributions of wealth in a capitalist society
      • Townsend
        • Capitalists feel they need to constantly renew the workforce
          • the young are considered to be more productive and a source of profit
            • This results in the elderly being denied access to social resources and status
      • Kidd
      • Phillipson
        • Ideology of capitalism
          • exploiting the workers and consumers for profit is incompatible with the elderly
      • reserve army of labour
        • young and the elderly are easily hired and fired
          • "boom and Bust economy"
      • Criticisms
        • It does not provide cultural and social arguments for age inequality.
      • Benefits and welfares systems for the young and old create dependencies which legitimize the positions of the powerful
    • postmodernism
      • Everingham 2003
        • peoples life courses are increasingly individualised, with few comman themes.
      • Featherstone & Hepworth: 1999
        • age is increasingly fragmented and diverse as a social category
  • Townsend
    • Capitalists feel they need to constantly renew the workforce
      • the young are considered to be more productive and a source of profit
        • This results in the elderly being denied access to social resources and status
  • the elderly are seen as undesirable because their dependency on welfare and health services are a “drain of the economy”.
    • Kidd
    • in the capitalist societies' thae elderly have little or no status because they have little economic power
  • old age and retirement trigger a loss of cultural and economic status due to their weak work and market situations.
    • this can also be applied to the young
    • McKingsley, 2001)
      • weberism
        • the lower status of the young and old affect their market situation
        • age inequality is based on status
        • Inequalities (AGE)
          • European law made Age Discrimination Illegal...
            • ...however
              • MORI (2002)
                • 38% have experienced age discrimination at work
              • Vincent (2006)
                • Life expectancy favours women
                  • but women are affected by more material disadvantage
                    • continued into old age
          • Functionalism
            • Changes to legislation and attitudes are inevitable as part of modernisation
              • laws restricting employment of children and the elderly...
                • universal pension provision...
                • Henry (1961)
                  • old age means disengagement from society
                    • marginalise the elderly to make room for the young
                    • must be gradual so the elderly can adapt
                • Parsons (1954)
                  • age is vital in acquiring social roles
                    • teenage= transitioning
                    • old age= isolation, loneliness and dependancy
                • Eisenstaedt (1956)
                  • Differential age groups enable people to learn and acquire new social roles, helping them contribute to society cohesion and solidarity
                • criticisms
                  • Functionalist studies are done by middle- class, US males.
                    • lack generalisability
                  • The role of the elderly results from social construction, and social structure  
                    • not disengagement
                  • Neglects issues of class, gender, ethnicity
              • Marxism
                • Age restrictions on work were created to manage the supply of labour
                  • Phillipson
                    • Ideology of capitalism
                      • exploiting the workers and consumers for profit is incompatible with the elderly
                  • reserve army of labour
                    • young and the elderly are easily hired and fired
                      • "boom and Bust economy"
                  • Criticisms
                    • It does not provide cultural and social arguments for age inequality.
                  • Benefits and welfares systems for the young and old create dependencies which legitimize the positions of the powerful
                • postmodernism
                  • Everingham 2003
                    • peoples life courses are increasingly individualised, with few comman themes.
                  • Featherstone & Hepworth: 1999
                    • age is increasingly fragmented and diverse as a social category
        • Feminism
          • women and children are linked together in mutual patricharchial oppression
          • women are more likely to be in poverty in old age than men
          • women are more likely to be discriminated against as they age

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