Social theories in aging

Functionalism The earliest theories of ageing reflected the functionalist approach that was dominant in sociology during the s and '60s. They emphasized how individuals adjusted to changing social roles as they aged and how those roles were useful to society.

Social theories in aging

Mistrust Is the world a safe place or is it full of unpredictable events and accidents waiting to happen? Erikson's first psychosocial crisis occurs during the first year or so of life like Freud's oral stage of psychosexual development. The crisis is one of trust vs.

During this stage, the infant is uncertain about the world in which they live. To resolve these feelings of uncertainty, the infant looks towards their primary caregiver for stability and consistency of care.

If the care the infant receives is consistent, predictable and reliable, they will develop a sense of trust which will carry with them to other relationships, and they will be able to feel secure even when threatened.

Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of hope. By developing a sense of trust, the infant can have hope that as new crises arise, there is a real possibility that other people will be there as a source of support. Failing to acquire the virtue of hope will lead to the development of fear.

For example, if the care has been harsh or inconsistent, unpredictable and unreliable, then the infant will develop a sense of mistrust and will not have confidence in the world around them or in their abilities to influence events.

This infant will carry the basic sense of mistrust with them to other relationships. It may result in anxiety, heightened insecurities, and an over feeling of mistrust in the world around them. Consistent with Erikson's views on the importance of trust, research by Bowlby and Ainsworth has outlined how the quality of the early experience of attachment can affect relationships with others in later life.

Shame and Doubt Autonomy versus shame and doubt is the second stage of Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development. This stage occurs between the ages of 18 months to approximately 3 years. The child is developing physically and becoming more mobile, and discovering that he or she has many skills and abilities, such as putting on clothes and shoes, playing with toys, etc.

Such skills illustrate the child's growing sense of independence and autonomy.

Social theories in aging

For example, during this stage children begin to assert their independence, by walking away from their mother, picking which toy to play with, and making choices about what they like to wear, to eat, etc. Erikson states it is critical that parents allow their children to explore the limits of their abilities within an encouraging environment which is tolerant of failure.

For example, rather than put on a child's clothes a supportive parent should have the patience to allow the child to try until they succeed or ask for assistance. So, the parents need to encourage the child to become more independent while at the same time protecting the child so that constant failure is avoided.

A delicate balance is required from the parent. They must try not to do everything for the child, but if the child fails at a particular task they must not criticize the child for failures and accidents particularly when toilet training.

Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of will. If children in this stage are encouraged and supported in their increased independence, they become more confident and secure in their own ability to survive in the world.

If children are criticized, overly controlled, or not given the opportunity to assert themselves, they begin to feel inadequate in their ability to survive, and may then become overly dependent upon others, lack self-esteemand feel a sense of shame or doubt in their abilities.

Guilt Initiative versus guilt is the third stage of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development. During the initiative versus guilt stage, children assert themselves more frequently. Central to this stage is play, as it provides children with the opportunity to explore their interpersonal skills through initiating activities.

Children begin to plan activities, make up games, and initiate activities with others. If given this opportunity, children develop a sense of initiative and feel secure in their ability to lead others and make decisions. Conversely, if this tendency is squelched, either through criticism or control, children develop a sense of guilt.

They may feel like a nuisance to others and will, therefore, remain followers, lacking in self-initiative. The child takes initiatives which the parents will often try to stop in order to protect the child.Let's consider the 4 grand theories one at a time. The Conflict Theory is a macro theory.

A Macro theory is a sociological theory designed to study the larger social, global, and societal level of sociological phenomena. This theory was founded by a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, and revolutionary ().

Because disengagement theory assumes that social aging preserves a society’s stability and that a society needs to ensure that disengagement occurs, it is often considered a functionalist explanation of the aging process.

Disengagement Theory, meanwhile, pointed to the often-observed narrowing of older peoples’ social worlds and argued that it is natural phenomenon to disengage socially and emotionally when aging. A lot of the social work theory taught at university is taken from psychology, law, philosophy, education and even management.

These theories attempt to explain human behaviour, relationships and. These perspectives can be grouped together in terms of whether they focus mainly on the individual, the economic and social We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website.

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Social theories in aging

Edited by Melissa Lynn Cannon, Martin S. Lipsky, Mitch King select article Social theories of aging: A review. Review article Full text access Social theories of aging: A review Pages Download PDF; select article Psychological theories of aging.

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Erik Erikson | Psychosocial Stages | Simply Psychology