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Sociology of Aging in Today’s Society

Aging is the process through which an organism matures and grows old. It is characterized by progressive biological and psychosocial impairment of normal functions, as a result of internal and external influences. This paper shall explore a personal reflection of what aging entails. In our societies, it is an acknowledged fact that we must undergo the aging process, and eventually die at one point in time. In most cases, people have contended that age is nothing but a number. In relation to aging, it may be argued that one person’s definition of being old may differ from that of another person. To this end, oldness can be described as having white hair, wrinkles and low productivity, as a result of aging.

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Many scholars have in the past decades developed theories that try to explain how and why people age. Among them is the Life-Course theory. According to this theory, aging is a life-long process that consists of biological and psychosocial changes (Bengtson, 2009). The life-course theory has its roots in Erikson’s developmental stages theory (Sigelman & Rider, 2011). According to this theory, human beings undergo eight developmental stages starting from birth, until they fully mature (65years and above). In each of these stages, an individual experiences biological, physiological and psychosocial changes. These experiences help in developing one’s personality.

Sigelman and Rider (2008), assert that aging is a cycle that must be experienced by everyone. The authors contend that during the aging process, individuals experience psychological, social, physical and emotional changes (Sigelman & Rider, 2008). These changes in turn guide how we attain satisfaction towards our life’s achievements or disappointment and despair towards our failures. This theory further explains why individuals have different personalities, physical and psychosocial traits as they age.

Moody (2010) further contends that Aging is among the gifts that life has to offer. It occurs to all of us and should be embraced if tranquility is to prevail. The author states that aging should be viewed as a natural occurrence applicable to all living things. The life-Course theory describes aging as a necessary process to the development of human beings. To have personal fulfillment and satisfaction, one must resolve issues inherent at each stage of development. This ensures that individuals enjoy aging with little to no complications. From his arguments, it is evident that with aging comes responsibility. This can be deduced from the fact that as people age, they get more responsibilities (work, family and friends) and as they retire, they look back at their achievements and failures with little to no regrets.

In America, aging is a sign of wisdom and aged people command respect from their younger counterparts. This is especially so since aged people are seen as the founders of the nation and their efforts have played a pivotal role in making America what it is now. In the future, aging may not be seen as an untimely and inconveniencing fact of life. This is mainly a result of technological advancements in the medical arena. Through these advancements, scientists will be able to counter the effects of aging and eventually slow down the process. This will ensure that people live their lives fully without the many complications that come with aging. Conclusively, aging is an inevitable process that must be experienced by all organisms. From this paper, an overview of aging has been provided. To this end, an explanation as to why and how we age has been offered.


Bengtson, V. (2009). Handbook of theories of aging. Boston: Springer Publishing Company.

Moody, H. (2010). Aging Concepts and Controversies. New York: Pine Forge Press.

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Sigelman, C., & Rider, E. (2011). Life-Span Human Development. New York: Cengage Learning.

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