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Aging and Demographic Change in Canadian Context

Aging and Demographic Change in Canadian Context

Edited by David Cheal
Series: Trends Project
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Aging and Demographic Change in Canadian Context
    Book Description:

    Contributors question whether an aging society is necessarily inferior or problematic compared with the recent past, cautioning that exaggerated concerns about population aging can be harmful to rational policy making.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7073-0
    Subjects: Population Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables and Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Laura A. Chapman

    Aging and Demographic Change in Canadian Contextis one of a series of books sponsored by the Trends Project. The Trends Project, a collaborative effort of the Policy Research Initiative and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, was conceived as a means of providing a new model for academics and government to collaborate on policy research and as a means of feeding the policy development process. Exchanging ideas, perspectives, frameworks, and data between academics and government is, at once, necessary for the development of innovative and effective public policy and difficult to accomplish in times of constant...

  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Contributors
    (pp. xiii-2)
  7. 1. Introduction: Contextualizing Demographic Concerns
    (pp. 3-21)
    David Cheal

    Demographic aging is a process of population change in which the population of a country progressively contains larger proportions of people in older age groups. This process is projected to have a huge impact on the population of Canada over the next forty years. In 1998, about 3.7 million Canadians were 65 years of age or over, and they made up 12.3 per cent of the population. According to the National Advisory Council on Aging, their numbers will increase to 6 million in 2016, when the baby boomers begin to turn 65, making up 16 per cent of the population...

  8. 2. Intergenerational Interlinkages: Public, Family, and Work
    (pp. 22-71)
    Susan A. McDaniel

    Nothing has affected our lives and policies as much since the Industrial Revolution as the doubling of life expectancy, accelerating particularly since the Second World War, and the concomitantly rapid social (including family and gender), economic, political, and technological changes. Intergenerational interlinkages lie at the heart of profound, but sometimes hidden, changes in our lives, and challenges to our policies. More of us live among more generations than ever before, and more of us experience the challenges of aging and relating to elders in our families and communities. As well, intergenerational interlinkages lie close to the heart of social solidarity...

  9. 3. Aging, Language, and Culture
    (pp. 72-104)
    Douglas Thorpe

    The demographic evidence has become compellingly familiar: graphs showing a steadily falling birth rate (below the replacement level at the turn of the millennium); graphs showing a steadily increasing life expectancy; and graphs showing the inevitable consequence – the aged cohort forming an ever-growing share of the Canadian population. When I retire twenty years from now I will join a group that will comprise over a fifth of all Canadians, a proportion more than double that which existed when my father retired.

    Familiar, and indisputable, as the evidence is, its significance is more elusive. How do we account for the...

  10. 4. The Impact of Demographic and Social Trends on Informal Support for Older Persons
    (pp. 105-132)
    Ingrid Arnet Connidis

    Recent writings illustrate well that an alarmist view of population aging (discussed in Chapter 1) misrepresents its consequences for social policy, health care, pension costs, and family ties.¹ In all of these areas, the ʹoversellingʹ of population aging² has meant taking too deterministic and negative a view of its impact, distracting from our efforts to understand the real significance of an aging population.

    A number of demographic and social trends are colliding with a shift in policy directives away from publicly funded formal support to greater reliance on community-based and informal support. While the shift is driven primarily by a...

  11. 5. Aging and Productivity: What Do We Know?
    (pp. 133-189)
    Joel Prager

    Our society stands at a demographic watershed. Although the twentieth century witnessed two terrible world wars, holocausts, Spanish influenza and HIV/AIDS pandemics, it also saw the greatest recorded increase in human longevity.¹ Canadaʹs population has certainly followed the trend. In 1851 people age 65 and over accounted for 2.7 per cent of the countryʹs population. By 1991 that proportion had climbed to 12 per cent; it is now projected to reach 22 per cent in 2036. In 1991 Canadians age 75, 80, 85, and 90 could expect on average to live another 11, 9, 6, and 5 years respectively. Meanwhile...

  12. 6. Work and Leisure: A Question of Balance
    (pp. 190-222)
    Marty Thomas and Rosemary A. Venne

    In 1991 Juliet Schor, a Harvard University economist, published the much-reviewed and discussedThe Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure.¹ Schor argued that Americans were trapped in a cycle of ʹwork and spendʹ that reduced both the quantity and quality of leisure time. The idea also resonated on this side of the border. Canadians, too, it seemed, were caught in the same trap. As a result, Schor was invited to address many conferences and discuss her ideas on Canadian television and radio talk shows. In the ensuing years some scholarly work was done on the subject, but none of...

  13. 7. Catching Up with Diversity in Intergenerational Relationships
    (pp. 223-244)
    Joseph A. Tindale, Joan E. Norris and Krista Abbott

    This chapter builds on our earlier work examining reciprocity in intergenerational relationships.¹ We constructed the term ʹglobal reciprocityʹ to identify the negotiation of reciprocity in intergenerational and familial exchange relations across the broad sweep of the life course. The character of such relations hinges on close bonds of identification among people who are important to each other and generally held in affectionate regard. We argue discrete events that can cause ruptures in the fabric of these relations are normally amenable to a healing process. For example, research on successful negotiation of farm transfers from one generation to the next have...

  14. Appendix: Iowa City Declaration
    (pp. 245-246)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 247-288)