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Aging and Society, Volume 2

Aging and Society, Volume 2: Aging and the Professions

Matilda White Riley
John W. Riley
Marilyn E. Johnson
Anne Foner
Beth Hess
Copyright Date: 1969
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 432
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  • Book Info
    Aging and Society, Volume 2
    Book Description:

    Interprets the research findings on aging for professionals concerned with the prevention and treatment of problems associated with aging. Each chapter, written by an expert, deals with the field within the broad context of aging in contemporary society.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-682-2
    Subjects: Sociology, Law

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xv-xx)
    M. W. R., J. W. R., JR. and M. E. J.
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-17)

    The gradual aging of the population in modern industrial society has wrought profound changes within the constituencies served by the practicing professions. In the United States, as the number of people aged 65 and over has multiplied fivefold since 1900, so too the numbers of older people in church congregations, hospitals, or mass media audiences have multiplied. These changes arise not only from growth of the entire population, but also from especially rapid increases in older age groups: Over the century, the proportion of the total population who are aged 65 or older has risen from 3 per cent to...

  5. 2 Aging and the field of social work
    (pp. 18-54)

    Social work is both a profession and a field of social organization. As a social institution it is called social welfare, and as a profession it is called social work; but, since both institution and profession are in the early stages of formal development, the boundaries of neither are wholly clear. The charitable impulses of philanthropic individuals, kin, and neighborhood groups have evolved into complex formal organizations requiring specially trained staff and governed by a body of principles and ethics. Yet, despite the demands of industrialization and urbanization, earlier informal structures and practices persist.

    Professional aims have been based on...

  6. 3 Aging and the field of medicine
    (pp. 55-78)

    Despite the considerable interest in, and research on, the biology of aging, there is still no general agreement on the basic nature of the phenomenon. Indeed the definition is intrinsically a statistical and group definition, rather than an individual one. Senescence can be defined as the gradual series of changes which result in a decreased capacity for survival. It is by death that aging as a process is measured-the increasing probability of death with increasing chronological age in the members of a population. [Cf. Susser, Chap. 5 in this volume.]

    A fundamental controversy in regard to human aging is whether...

  7. 4 Aging and the field of nursing
    (pp. 79-113)

    Professional nursing, no less than other health professions, is concerned with providing care both to individuals and to populations. In any assessment of the nursing needs of the aged, all that affects the health status of the population as a whole must influence our planning, our educational curricula, and the allocation of our manpower. But we are equally concerned with the individual, with how he ages, for example, and how, as an aging or aged person, he responds to care. It has been said that, although we cannot make health care simple when it has become complex, we can and...

  8. 5 Aging and the field of public health
    (pp. 114-160)

    This chapter will pick its way through various topics where interpretation of the research findings set out in Volume One seems germane to the purposes of public health. It will aim to be a companion in the use of the compiled findings, rather than a rounded account of aging and the field of public health. These findings lend themselves well to the traditional public health ideal of prevention. Emphasis will therefore be given to the problems of identifying environmental factors that influence either the aging process or the effects of old age. Since factors extrinsic to the individual organism, once...

  9. 6 Aging and manpower development
    (pp. 161-200)

    It may be ironic, if not paradoxical, that the emergence of a society that enables increasing proportions of its members to live more than 60 years is the same society in which a smaller proportion of those living to be “old” are defined as wanted or “needed” participants in the productive population—the labor force. The transition from an agricultural to an industrial-urban economy has been accompanied by a decreasing utilization of older persons, especially males. And even among older persons who are employed within today’s basically industrial economy, a disproportionate number are found in the agricultural sector. [See Vol....

  10. 7 Aging and financial management
    (pp. 201-228)

    The subject of income distribution, a source of centuries of controversy, has in the past been primarily concerned either with differences in income levels or with the determination of functional shares: wages, rent, interest, and profits. Although the traditional income-distribution problems have not disappeared, equally urgent current issues center on the apportionment of the national product between workers and nonworkers, the latter including not only the sick and disabled but the young and the old as well.

    Changes in the nature of the income-distribution dilemma are due in part to a certain ambivalence in our economic ideology. On the one...

  11. 8 Aging and the fields of architecture and planning
    (pp. 229-273)

    Architects and planners sometimes act like gods. Just as Jeremy Bentham said of his own Panopticon prison design, “Morals reformed, health preserved, industry invigorated, instruction diffused, public burdens lightened … all by a simple idea in architecture,”¹ so too our contemporaries are liable to claim that poverty, delinquency, and racial tensions can be dissipated by the simple act of tearing down the slums.

    We must also be on guard against the belief that improvements in the physical environment can remedy the intrinsic problems of aging. But this does not mean that the physical environment and the layout of a community...

  12. 9 Aging and the law
    (pp. 274-292)

    Law takes many forms and lawyers perform many roles. The law must accommodate to profound changes in age distribution that have occurred since the turn of the century and will continue at least until its close. Associated changes in patterns of work and leisure, productivity and dependency, family life and residence all have implications for legal structures and the practice of law. The Inventory provides orientation and basic information suggesting and sketching many problems, some amenable to treatment by the law-trained.

    Lawyers as counselors and draftsmen must take account of changes in law prompted by an aging population, both those...

  13. 10 Aging and the ministry
    (pp. 293-323)

    Idealization of the past is not an uncommon tendency among men, regardless of the society or historical epoch in which they live. Despite speculation to the contrary, however, there is little evidence that the aged in traditional societies experienced fewer anxieties and insecurities than do old people in America today. As the line from Proverbs suggests, senior members of Biblical times were supposed to be venerated, but the plea of the writer of the quoted Psalm indicates that veneration was not always forthcoming. Old age was sometimes accompanied—as it is today—with fears and concerns.

    It may be, though,...

  14. 11 Aging and the field of education
    (pp. 324-351)

    As Volume One of this series on aging and Society amply attests, the characteristics of old people, the assets and liabilities which each cohort brings to old age, are profoundly influenced by the educational attainment of its members. A fundamental source of knowledge and understanding, education serves as the principal modifier of attitudes, behavior, and skills. Educators, therefore, have a special obligation to the aged as well as to the young. This obligation, however, must both chasten and challenge members of the profession; chasten, because education has not provided the answers that the problems of aging require; and challenge, because...

  15. 12 Aging and mass communication
    (pp. 352-376)

    The argument of this paper is that the mass media are called upon more and more to build a bridge between old people and the rest of American society. On the one hand, they are challenged to report in depth and breadth one of the great societal stories of our time—the emergence of old people as a major segment of the population. On the other hand, because the media have a large and loyal audience among old people, they are in position to maintain for these people a link to the larger society, and thus to combat the loneliness...

  16. Detailed table of contents of volume one
    (pp. 377-390)
  17. Subject index
    (pp. 391-402)
  18. Name index
    (pp. 403-410)