Chapter 15 Inequalities of Youth and Age Sources of Age Stratification Age Stratification and Inequality Social Movements among the Elderly Age Stratification Age determines the opportunities open to a person and what kind of life that person leads. All societies channel people into sets of statuses and roles based on age. In urban industrial societies there are distinct patterns of stratification in which age defines the roles one plays and the rewards one can expect. Baby Boom Generation Produced by rapid increases in the birthrate from 1945 through the early 1960s, has profoundly influenced American society. A sizable proportion of the children of the baby boom generation are members of minority groups. Childhood Definitions of childhood differ throughout the industrial world. Increasing incomes and child labor laws, resulted in children becoming economically "worthless“ and emotionally “priceless". A growing gap between “priceless” children and children who bear the burden of poverty. Elderly At the turn of the twentieth century the largest segment of the U.S. population living in poverty conditions was the elderly. As a result of programs such as Social Security and Medicare, rates of poverty among the elderly have decreased. Elderly As people age, they experience more medical problems and disabilities. Social scientists who study the the elderly point out that longer life spans need to be accompanied by new concepts of social roles in more advanced years. Ageism An ideology that justifies prejudice or discrimination based on age. As the proportion of older people in a society increases the prevalence of ageism also increases. Sociological Views on the Elderly Disengagement - as people grow older they gradually disengage from their earlier roles. Activity theory - the elderly need activities that will serve as outlets for their creativity and energy.