Social disengagement theory.
In 1961 Cumming and Henry describe, what they believe happens to us as we grow older, as social disengagement. They believe that society withdraws from the individual ad the individual withdraws from society. Cumming and Henry’s theory believes that the social changes that take place in old age are as follows: Society withdraws from the individual
Compulsory retirement. Normally at 65 years of age.
Children grow up, leave home and start families of their own Death of spouse or friend
High profile of the youth and younger person
The individual withdraws from society
There may be a reduction in social contacts and also in social activity Life may become more solitary
Confidence may decline as social contacts reduce
Cumming and Henry both believed that this mutual disengagement was inevitable and beneficial. Older people may cast off social roles and emotional responsibilities. This is due course may lead to contentment. There are other theorists that would view this process as being negative.
Social Activity Theory
This theory is the alternative to the disengagement theory.
The activity theory, is also known as the implicit theory of aging. It proposes that successful aging occurs when older adults stay active and maintain social interactions. It takes the view that the ageing process is delayed and the quality of life is enhanced when old people remain socially active. The theory was developed by Robert J Havighurst in 1961. In 1964, Bernice Neugarten asserted that satisfaction in old age depended on active maintenance of personal relationships and endeavors. This theory views the individual as a well-adjusted person who takes a variety of social roles through participating in activities via voluntary groups, religious organisations and leisure groups. This in turn leads to a more positive self-image and greater satisfaction in later life. In 1981, Anderson found that independence and active...
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