Social disengagement and activity theory

Topics: Gerontology, Sociology, Ageing Pages: 3 (903 words) Published: November 25, 2013
Theories of aging
In this essay I am going to explain two theories of ageing such as social disengagement and activity theory. I will also discuss these theories in relation to my chosen individual, Kurt Cobain, and how they have affected their development or would have in the future. I will discuss how social disengagement and activity theory may have affected him in his later life if he had reached that life stage.

The first theory I am going to explain is the social disengagement theory. This is a theory that says older people will need to withdraw from social contact with others. This is because older people will disengage due to reduced physical health and loss of social opportunities. This will mean that older people will not socialise as much as they used to when they were younger. This may be because they may not be able to move around as much as they use to or their physical health may have reduced and they won’t be able to go out as much.

A theorist, called Eileen Cumming (1975), argued that older people would experience a reduction in social contact as they grew older and become increasingly ‘individual’ and less concerned with the expectations of others. He argued that it was appropriate and healthy for older people to withdraw from others. He believed it was a natural part of ageing. Although many people today do not agree with this theory, when Cumming’s first came up with the theory in 1961 there was no internet or text messaging. Also many older people would not have access to a car so they would not be able to go out and see their friends and family like they can now. Many older people didn’t have phones in their homes either so they were unable to call others and talk to them. This could be a reason why older people lost contact and didn’t go out as much because they were unable to.

Another theorist, named Bromley, argued that ‘although some individuals fight the process all the way, disengagement of some sort is bound to come, simply...
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