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Connections Across Cultures: Glorifying Youth vs. Valuing the Elderly

We hear a lot in our society about how we value youth, and consider the elderly to be of little worth. The obsession with youth and appearance is such that plastic surgery has become the subject of numerous television shows. But is our society really different than other societies, and if so, what factors might have contributed to the difference? The matter is particularly important today, since the world’s older population is the fastest growing group. One estimate has suggested by the year 2020 the total population of people over 65 years of age will be 690 million (Hillier&Barrow, 1999). Thus, it won’t be long before there are a billion people over the age of 65. But is 65 years old a valid point for declaring someone as old?

Old age can be defined functionally, as in whether or not a person can still do the things expected of them in their culture, it can be defined formally by some external event, such as the birth of the first grandchild, or it can be determined chronologically, as it typically is in the United States (we traditionally use the age of 65 years). Each measure has its advantages and disadvantages, but regardless, when a person is viewed by others as old, the question becomes one of how they will be treated. Generally speaking, the more industrialized a society is, the less likely it is to treat its elderly with respect and dignity. In non-industrialized societies, the elderly play a number of important roles in the traditions and ceremonies emphasized by such cultures, since they know the most about those traditions and ceremonies. Older members of the community function as historians, vocational instructors, and often as doctors and ministers. In agrarian societies they continue to work as long as they are able. As a result, the elderly are still vital, contributing members of the community, and as such, they are naturally treated with the respect they deserve (Hillier&Barrow, 1999).

There are, however, variations even within non-industrialized societies. For example, nomadic societies have few resources, and often live in harsh climates. Their geographic mobility favors youth and vigor, as well as individual autonomy, all elements that fade with advanced age. Even with minor advances in technology, the important roles that elders played in many cultures have faded with time. Among the Aleuts in Northern Russia there were always one or two old men who educated the children. However, the availability of printed material has largely eliminated the need for this type of education. In places such as Turkey and Nepal, the elderly have lost their place in the workforce with the urbanization and industrialization of the country. The Igbo of Nigeria once held their elders in high regard, but mass migrations have diminished their authority, and formal education in schools has supplanted their spiritual roles (Hillier&Barrow, 1999). Many more examples can be found of changes in how communities, societies, and cultures treat the elderly more poorly than they have in the past.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
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