SOC 4020/5020--Sociology of Aging

Exam 3 Study Questions

  1. Why is housing an important issue for the elderly? What is the relationship between housing satisfaction and life satisfaction among the elderly? Why do you think this relationship is so strong? What characteristics and features of the elderly make housing issues of particular concern to them? What is meant by "person environment fit" and "age appropriate housing?" Why are they important?
  2. What are some of the housing options available to the elderly in the US? What living arrangements are most common? Which are least common? Explain these patterns. What is meant by the continuum of care? How does it relate to housing options? Do you foresee changes in the living arrangements of the elderly in the future? If so, what are they? If not, why not?
  3. What is meant by aging in place? What are some of the problems presented by aging in place? What is being done to address these problems? What more can be done?
  4. Discuss the migration patterns of the elderly, making sure to address (1) what patterns are most common, (2) what factors motivate the elderly to move, and (3) the difference between voluntary and involuntary migration.
  5. What is age segregation? Is it good or bad for the elderly? Is it good or bad for society at large? Is all age segregation deliberate and intentional? Explain your answers.
  6. Are the elderly more or less likely to be victims of a violent crime than younger age groups? To what types of crimes are the elderly most susceptible? What, if anything, can be done to reduce the elderly's susceptibility to such crimes? What, if anything, can be done to reduce the elderly's fear of crime?
  7. Should the public be alarmed about recent increases in the number of elder abuse cases? Why or why not? What factors have contributed to the increase? What can be done to reduce the occurrence of elder abuse?
  8. How does the role of religion in the lives of individuals change as we age? Are older people more religious than younger people? Do people get more religious as they age? How can age differences in religiosity be explained?
  9. What are some of the functions of religion at both the societal and individual level? Does religion have benefits for aging individuals? Explain.
  10. Do people become more or less involved in community and civic organizations as they age? Are they more or less likely to provide volunteer service? How might you explain these patterns?
  11. What is the economic status of the elderly population? How do they compare to younger age groups? Be sure to consider income, wealth, home ownership, and poverty rates in your answers. Also be sure to address the impact of age, race, and gender.
  12. What are the main sources of income for the elderly? How have these sources changed over the last 40-50 years? How are they likely to change in future? Do you think the elderly will be better or worse off financially in the future? Explain your answer.
  13. Discuss some of the cultural and historical forces that have made work and the workplace more difficult for older workers. What is age discrimination and why might an employer to discriminate against an older worker? Other than legal action, what could be done to make work environments more friendly to older workers and to reduce age discrimination? Do you see attitudes towards older workers changing in the future? Why or why not?
  14. What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of social security? How would change social security, if at all? What do you see as the future of social security? Will it be around when you retire? Why or why not?
  15. How did early gerontologists tend see the impact of retirement on the aging individual? Why did they adopt this view? What does current research say about the impact of retirement on the individual? Under what circumstances might retirement have a negative impact? What do recent trends in retirement suggest about attitudes toward retirement?
  16. What impact, if any, has the growing numbers of elderly had on American politics? Are the elderly an influential political force? Why or why not? Will they become more influential as their numbers grow? What impact has the growing numbers of elderly had on public policy issues such as taxation, education, Medicare, and social security? Will the growing numbers of elderly substantially change public policy in the future?
  17. What is "intergenerational equity?" Is it attainable? Why or why not? Should we strive to attain it? What evidence is offered by those who argue the elderly receive a disproportionate amount of social and economic support from our government? Do you agree? What, if anything, needs to be done to establish equity?