Blurring The Boundaries: The Declining Significance of Ageby Jack Levin
Pub. Date: 12/12/2012
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Over the decades, the lines separating young- middle-aged-, and older adults have blurred, as indicated by a broadening of the appropriate years for making life decisions. Not only are many people marrying later, but some are marrying earlier than ever. Overall, women giving birth later, but some are having children earlier in their lives. Older people are retiring
Over the decades, the lines separating young- middle-aged-, and older adults have blurred, as indicated by a broadening of the appropriate years for making life decisions. Not only are many people marrying later, but some are marrying earlier than ever. Overall, women giving birth later, but some are having children earlier in their lives. Older people are retiring later, but some are retiring at a younger age. The spread or variability (standard deviation) of age-based decisions has increased substantially, giving adults greater freedom from the traditional constraints of age. With these relaxed age norms has come a host of related social problems. The relaxation of age norms for adult decision-making has inadvertently blurred the boundaries between adults and teenagers, between teenagers and children. This generalization of the phenomenon throughout the life cycle is responsible for the adultification of childhood.
Eight year old girls are, to an increasing extent, being treated as sexual objects; bullying peaks in the 6th grade; larger numbers of girls are having oral sex or sexual intercourse by the age of 15; the pregnancy rate for girls 13-15 is on the rise; we are in the process of dismantling the juvenile justice system in favor of adult forms of punishment; and more and more children are left without adult supervision in the afternoons, as though they were miniature adults who are capable of raising themselves.
Jack Levin is the American Sociological Association’s 2009 Winner of the “Public Understanding of Sociology” Award. This short book communicates the power and importance of sociological thinking to major, worldwide social trends. Ideal for use in undergraduate courses such as introductory sociology, social problems, and social change as well as more advanced courses in population, or sociology of aging.
- Taylor & Francis
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE: THE RELAXATION OF RULES
Norms for Public versus Private Interaction
Living with Ambiguity
Free Style Dancing
CHAPTER TWO: GENDER EQUALITY AND THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION
Labor Force Participation
Marriage and Childbirth
Sex on Campus
CHAPTER THREE: A CULT OF YOUTH
"Don’t Trust Anybody over 30"
Aging of the First-Wave Boomers
The Boomers Continue to Bloom
The Demise of Ageism?
CHAPTER FOUR: THE RELAXATION OF AGE CONSTRAINTS
Blurring the Boundaries of Age
The Timing of Major Life Events
"Get Me to the Church on Time"
Participating in the Arts
A New Stage of Life?
CHAPTER FIVE: WHAT HAS KEPT THE BOOMER CHANGES GOING?
The Boomers’ Continuing Influence
The Boomerang Effect
Co-opting the Counterculture
CHAPTER SIX: THE EROSION OF CHILDHOOD
Generalizing the Relaxation of Norms
Middle School Sex
Teenagers in Adult Jails
CHAPTER SEVEN: FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE
EROSION OF CHILDHOOD
The Mass Media
Lack of Adult Supervision
CHAPTER EIGHT: REVERSALS AND RESOLUTIONS
New Norms for Old
Norm Ambiguity and Controversy
Formalizing the Rules
The Benefits of Blurred Boundaries
Feathering the Full Nest
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >