The Influence Of Old Age

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“Old age has not only changed over time but has also varied among different cultures.”
This phrase is an indicator by Hareven (2005), that old age is socially constructed and not simply a natural phenomenon.
There are many ways and different adjectives one could use to describe the elderly. If one had to ask the younger generation to give out terms to describe the older generation, the majority would probably choose rather negative ones, like ‘helpless’, ‘lonely’ or ‘frail’. On the other hand, if one had to ask an older generation, they would probably choose different adjectives, like ‘independent’, ‘wise’, ‘practical’ and ‘experienced’.
Numerous diverse factors contribute to these different held views. Ageing in itself is a bio psychosocial process. Changes in the body, mental health and social interactions take place naturally. There is a high tendency within the social and biological sciences, to look for what is called, a ‘naturalized life course’. This refers to how a particular person biologically develops and part of this, is the downfall of what one is capable of doing with age. Bernice Neugarten, a psychologist who specialised in the psychology of ageing, pointed out that we are becoming an age-irrelevant society, in other words, we are only as old as we say we are.
On the contrary, constructionists claim that there is nothing about the human body that brings about the concept of age and decline. There exists no ‘process of aging in itself’, as aging is

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