In this essay I am going to discuss two psychological

Topics: Sociology, Gerontology, Old age Pages: 4 (2564 words) Published: June 5, 2015

In this essay I am going to discuss two psychological/sociological theories and one biological theory of ageing and then I will compare one psychological theory of ageing with the chosen biological theory of ageing.

The first sociological/psychological theory I am going to explain is the disengagement theory. This theory suggests that as we get older we begin to withdraw from society. Social scientists Elaine Cummings and William Henry outlined the disengagement theory of ageing in their 1961 book, "Growing Old." The disengagement theory of ageing claims that the elderly begin to systematically disengage from their previous social roles as they realise the inevitability of death in the near future. The theory suggests that society responds to the elderly's disengagement with a sort of mutual recognition that the elderly ill soon pass and society must prepare to function with their absence. The theory argues that it is a natural and acceptable for the elderly to withdraw from society. Disengagement theory was one of the first theories of ageing which was developed by social scientists. According to Cummings and Henry's model, the major shift in interaction between the elderly and society begins once older people fully recognise the brevity of their remaining life spans. This can happen when someone loses their independence due to a broken hip etc. Once the realisation set's in the elderly will remove themselves consciously and subconsciously from many social networks. At the same time, society distances itself from the elderly and the roles and authority which are reserved for elderly members of a population are passed along to the younger ones. From Cummings and Henry's sociological perspective, disengagement does have theoretical benefits as well even though its mainly about the inevitability of death. For one thing it gives the elderly a new role, for example, someone may be a parent, teacher or a community helper however disengagement theory could have...
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