Evolution of Roles and Societal Perspectives on Aging.

Before the World War II there appeared many new theories on aging that have a quite different view on it. The role theory that was applied before the war time had the following critical elements: older people do not just waste there time – but get new experience and find new meaning in life. It also claims that the majority of aged people do not want to lessen their role’s significance.

The proponents of this theory also claimed that roles become vaguer with aging.

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The post war period was signified with the new theory on aging – disengagement. It says that because of “inevitable declines with age, people become decreasingly involved with the outer world and become more interior in anticipation of death” (Bath 2003). This theory also explained the transition of power from the old to the young. The next theory to consider is the continuity theory. It claims that with aging a person works out some new patterns of behavior and the life satisfaction depends greatly on how these patterns correlate with the past experience. The hypothesis of the continuity theory is: central personality traits become more pronounced with age or they are retained without many changes (Moody, 2006). One can make a deduction here that those people age successfully who keep to their habitual roles in life.

The modernization theory that appeared in the 80’s defines four elements that encourage economic development: urbanization, education, techological changes and development, and economic production growth. As a result of these four factors interwork the theory deducts that while in traditional societies the role of older people is still active, in modern societies they lose all the power and do not bring any advancement to it. Modernization brings about deterioration of small and cosy communities where older people played sagnificant role.

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