The importance of the similarities exceeds that of the differences. Particularly influential to older adults are age stratification theories, in which unequal distributions of power and resources exist throughout the different life stages. caregiving. The other two theories are the Activity Theory of Aging and the Continuity Theory of Aging. Discrimination and prejudice against a person or group on the basis of age. Theories of the Aging Individual. In this era of data banks, the accumulation of age-relevant material is far outstripping the development of relevant theory or the application of appropriate methods of analysis and interpretation. The theory states that this withdrawal is inevitable and mutual. Age stratification theory has been criticized for its broadness and its inattention to other sources of stratification and how these might intersect with age. Age stratification separates people into three primary groups according to their age; the young, the old and the rest. In Western societies, for example, both the old and the young are perceived and treated as relatively incompetent and excluded from much social life. It is one of three major psychosocial theories describing the development process of individuals as they age. Gerotranscendence theory posits that older adults withdraw from society, in order to give the individual the opportunity for self-reflection and exploration. ageism. A system of inequalities linked to age, often associated with age-sets. Age-stratification theory considers individuals as members of cohorts with similarities to others in the same group. See also AGEISM. The principal sociological theory of aging, the age stratification model (ASM), has failed to provide an adequate structuralist counterpoint to the prevailing reductionism in social gerontology. See also ageism. Quick Reference. LABELING THEORY •Age Stratification Theory •Theoretical perspective based on belief that societal age structure affects roles, self-concept, and life satisfaction •Social Exchange Theory •Based on the hypothesis that personal status is defined by the balance between people’s contributions to society and the costs of supporting them Example: a group of people in an age group such as the stereotype of young people and older people being "incompetent" compared to middle age adults. For example, one might argue that an older white male occupies a more powerful role, and is far less limited in his choices, compared to an older white female based on his historical access to political and economic power. Three major theories of the aging individual are disengagement theory, activity theory, and continuity theory. So age stratification is more specific, applying rules or restrictions based off of ones age. The problem with the ASM lies in its preoccupation with a functionalist understanding of … age stratification. The concept that a high level of personal activity increases the life satisfaction of older people. In Western societies, for example, both the old and the young are perceived and treated as relatively incompetent and excluded from much social life. age stratification A system of inequalities linked to age. Each of those groups can be further broken down to suit whatever purpose. The unequal distribution of wealth, prestige, and power at different stages of the life course. Age stratification, cohort flow, and aging are all areas abounding in misapprehensions. Source for information on age stratification: A Dictionary of Sociology dictionary. age stratification. young or old. Each focuses on the individual person and the psyche in adapting and adjusting to changes associated with growing old. 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