Modernization and the Status of Older Adults

Elevator Modernization

Elevator Modernization (Photo credit: splorp)

Modernization refers to an evolutionary transition from a pre modern or traditional society to a modern society ( Encylopedia, 2013), in other words change.  Modernization is constant and ongoing, however fast developing globalization, the ever increasing elder community and the breakdown of the traditional family structure have made changes to the basic societal structure.

Modernization lowers the status of Elders through health technology, scientific technology, urbanization, and literacy and mass education (Hooyman & Kiyak, 2005).  Increasing life spans (health technology) causes competition in the job market which results in forced retirements.  This in turn leads to decreased income and a loss of status a job can bring.  Fast changing technology (scientific technology) alienates those elders who cannot keep up.  Urbanization split families apart and the educational gap (Literacy and mass education) causes a false sense of superiority in younger adults. (Hooyman & Kiyak, 2005)

My opinion is the breakdown of the family unit is also responsible for some of the change in elders’ social status.  I was told of a situation in which the grandmother of a five year old child saw fit to interfere in a playground squabble.  The grandmother was 37 and her child (the parent of the five year old child) 21.  The fact of the matter is, as I was told “they are all children, they play together”.  How can society respect a 37 year old grandmother who lacks the maturity and experiences we expect (or I expect) from our elders?  Can you be an elder at 37?

Knowledge can aid in adjusting the negative connotations of the four characteristics mentioned above, however we need to rethink and adjust the manner in which we are managing our families.

Bibliography Encylopedia. (2013, February 5 ). Modernization.   Retrieved from Ask by Wikipedia:

Hooyman, N. R., & Kiyak, H. A. (2005). The   Impact of Modernization on Older Adult’s Roles in Traditional Societies. In Social   Gerontology, A Multidisciplinary Prespective (pp. 51-57). Boston: Pearson   Education, Inc., as Allyn & Bacon.

About Donna Hill

About Us MomsHouse was established August 2014 in tribute to Chalmetta Elaine Paulette Johnson, who died from accelerating Multiple Sclerosis. My mother’s courageous journey of maintaining her independence and dignity inspired the idea to create an organization to work collaboratively with seniors to do the same. Mission Statement To enhance and improve the quality of life for our elder community by providing free or low cost access to products, services and information. MomsHouse Core Values *Respect for the dignity of all individuals *Uncompromising integrity *Accountability to all our supporters *Build a positive team and family spirit *Build and maintaining strong relationships *Truth in all matters *Do more with less

Posted on July 5, 2013, in My Journey to My Masters in Elder Care and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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