Aging And The Life Cycle Essay

720 Words Feb 9th, 2016 3 Pages
“Aging and the Life Cycle” attempts to disrupt the standard understanding of age as a biological factor, as it is unfolded as a social construct wherein gender, race, context, class, profession and other factors intersect to determine attitudes towards people of a certain age and creating ideas such as: middle-aged women should marry older men (Karp, Yoles and Vann 2004), children should play with dolls, grandmothers should be kind etc.… While the authors do capture its complexities, the chapter gives the impression that age, and age related behaviors, develop primarily to meet the expectations of society, and that it is society that creates the terms and frequency of said development. However, building on the arguments of Karp, Yoles and Vann, in this essay I will look at how the stages of the life cycle occur unevenly depending on individual circumstances, how people purposefully assume the age that is necessary for survival, and how the flexibility of an individual to determine their own age is limited by economic stability. In doing I am responding to questions such as: what are the circumstances under which a person “matures” according to society’s definition of the word? To what degree does the individual have the freedom to choose their own age?
In the chapter “Aging and the Life Cycle”, Karp, Yoles and Vann advise caution when approaching universal theories for stages of development, as they often do not take into account the divers range of backgrounds, classes,…

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