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. age stratification A system of inequalities linked to age. Age stratification, cohort flow, and aging are all areas abounding in misapprehensions. The problem with the ASM lies in its preoccupation with a functionalist understanding of … The unequal distribution of wealth, prestige, and power at different stages of the life course. 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 ageism. See also ageism. A system of inequalities linked to age, often associated with age-sets. 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. Gerotranscendence theory posits that older adults withdraw from society, in order to give the individual the opportunity for self-reflection and exploration. In Western societies, for example, both the old and the young are perceived and treated as relatively incompetent and excluded from much social life. Each focuses on the individual person and the psyche in adapting and adjusting to changes associated with growing old. Three major theories of the aging individual are disengagement theory, activity theory, and continuity theory. Age stratification separates people into three primary groups according to their age; the young, the old and the rest. Discrimination and prejudice against a person or group on the basis of age. Age stratification theory has been criticized for its broadness and its inattention to other sources of stratification and how these might intersect with age. The theory states that this withdrawal is inevitable and mutual. It is one of three major psychosocial theories describing the development process of individuals as they age. Each of those groups can be further broken down to suit whatever purpose. Age-stratification theory considers individuals as members of cohorts with similarities to others in the same group. See also AGEISM. The other two theories are the Activity Theory of Aging and the Continuity Theory of Aging. young or old. Source for information on age stratification: A Dictionary of Sociology dictionary. 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. 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