Wadensten (2003, p. 15) observes that although the disengagement theories and gerotranscendence theory seems to be very different, both theories shared similarities in meta-theoretical framework which indicate that this framework is the common positivist one. It viewed the individual as an object directed by internal and external forces when the researcher is mainly interested in the behavior of the individual.
The main similarity between the two theories is that it explains the life of elderly by withdrawing from social roles, activities and relationships. In gerotranscendence theory, Tornstam asserted that disengagement from certain social roles …show more content…
In gerotranscendence theory, Tornstam plays on the ambiguity of the concept of drive in which he is putting forward an essentialistic meta-theory which emphasize the existence of universal biologically founded laws of human ageing. In this respect, he is in line with the disengagement theory. He also considers, like Cumming that this process is intrinsic and culture free, but modified by specific, cultural patterns (Thorsen, 1998, p. 166). Gerotranscendence is not limited by culture or sex because its concept is universal. This theory is well-known especially in western world. The concept of gerotranscendence theory is similar to disengagement theory which is a culture-independent theory, but its manifestation or representation is varies across culture. Individual’s health, personality, earlier type of engagement in social life and situation become factors to variation in timing and style (Wadensten, 2003, p. 11). This process of disengagement was described as a culture-free process, but its form will always be culture-bound. Individuals of all gender, race, and culture will experience disengagement. However, the form and the timing of this process will differ between groups and cultures. For example, in American society, disengagement is more difficult for men than for women (Wadensten, 2003, p. 16) The fact that disengagement is universal means that the theory isn’t bound by culture and happens all over the world. Besides, this theory applies to both males and females