old age and retirement

Topics: Sociology, Gerontology, Retirement Pages: 2 (1056 words) Published: January 5, 2015
Self , Society and the life course.

Topic : Old age and retirement


The essay will be focusing on Old age and retirement as a particular stage of life course and exploring the disengagement and activity theories and psychological concept of this stage, as well as identifying the importance of social institution in relation to this life course. The age at which old age is thought to start varies in different cultures and historically. In western world old age generally refers to those aged over 60. Freedom pass for older people in Britain is from age 60 and above and For donkey's years, the age at which you can claim your state pension benefits has been 65 for men and 60 for women. According to Erikson’s theory of Psychological Development, old age is the stage in which individuals assess the quality of their lives. In reflecting on their lives, people in this age group develop a feeling of integrity if deciding that their lives were successful or a feeling of despair if evaluation of one’s life indicates a failure to achieve goals. Most people begin to feel ‘old’ as a result of illness or disability. Old age is apart of the lifecycle about which there are numerous myths and stereotypes. The commonly held beliefs that old age is a dependant stage, characterised by a lack of social autonomy, unloved and neglected by their immediate family and friends and posing a threat to the living standards of younger age groups by being a burden that consumes without producing. The elderly have been treated as a homogeneous group facing common problems. Thus it is argued that poverty in old age is primarily a function of low economic and social status prior to retirement and the depressed social status of the retired, and secondarily, of the relatively low level of state benefits. Social policies which have failed to recognize inequality in old age and the causes of low economic and...
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