SOC 349 The Sociology of Aging

  Please answer any 10 of the following questions: 

Discuss the variety of ways in which the life course has been organized over time.
The text asserts that today we no longer have a shared map for the course of life and that the timing of major life events has become less and less predictable at all levels of society. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Provide specific evidence to back up your position.
 In the New York Times column “The New Old Age,” author Judith Graham asked: “What language do you think we should use to describe people who have advanced beyond the middle of their lives, and why?” What are your thoughts about how best to answer this question?
Consider the traditional theories of aging – modernization, detachment, activity and continuity theories. How relevant do you think these theories are for explaining aging, later life, and old age in the 21st century?
How did Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels, 1726) characterize the Struldbruggs, and how does this characterization assist in our understanding of the possible implications of population aging?
Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the Medicare program. What could be done to strengthen the Medicare program?
Describe the variety of senior housing options that are available today. If you wished to continue living in your own home as long as possible but your health needs were increasing, which option would you prefer? Explain.
How does the concept “continuum of care” assist in our understanding of the diverse needs of the older adult population? To what extent is the long-term care service system in the United States a “continuum of care”?
What factors influence poverty among the aged? Which groups among older adults are more likely to be economically disadvantaged compared to other groups? How does the concept “cumulative disadvantage” assist us in our understanding of different patterns of experience in later life?
What are the implications of an increasingly ethnically diverse population foraging in American society?
What are the major sources of retirement income among older people today? How have sources of retirement income changed over the last several decades? How have these patterns been changing since the economic downturn that began in 2008?
Discuss the importance of Social Security for today’s older adults.
Describe how gender, race, and social class intersect to influence the experience of aging in the United States.
To what extent is federal government activity focused on the aged? Describe the major federal programs affecting older Americans. What changes have occurred in these programs in recent years and what has been the impact of these changes on the well-being of older Americans?
What are the implications of categorizing older adults as “elderly” and “well dearly”? Do these two categories capture sufficiently the diversity of older adults and the complexity of the aging experience or serve to further ageist s

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